STILLWATER, Okla. — Arkansas-Pine Bluff got its big chance against the No. 8-ranked team in men’s college basketball, and through the first 6½ minutes, UAPB held a slim lead.
It didn’t take Oklahoma State long to start pulling away from the Golden Lions, but the Cowboys hit into high gear with a 33-4 run during the second half and didn’t look back in a 97-63 win Friday night. It’s the first loss of the season for the Lions (2-1).
UAPB did achieve a small feat on defense, becoming the first team to hold Oklahoma State (3-0) to fewer than 100 points this season. The Cowboys averaged 105 points and had beaten Mississippi Valley State and Utah State by more than 50 points in their first two outings.
It appeared for a while UAPB would be able to hang with Oklahoma State the entire way, even though the Cowboys had a 46-30 halftime lead. UAPB pulled within 50-38 with 17:46 left on a Ghiavonni Robinson three-point basket, but the Lions committed six turnovers over the next 10 minutes and the Cowboys capitalized with a long run. Davon Haynes’ layup snapped the run at the 7:28 mark.
Tevin Hammond scored 15 points and made five assists in 34 minutes to lead the Lions. Reserve DeAndre McIntyre and Haynes each added 13 points, and Daniel Broughton had six points in the loss. Haynes and Broughton each had six rebounds.
Reserve Phil Forte, Oklahoma State’s leading scorer, and starter Markel Brown, each scored a game-high 22 points. Forte hit 6 of 7 free throws and Brown converted 9 of 13 field goals.
All-American guard Marcus Smart had 16 points, converting 10 of 14 free throws, and Le’Bryan Nash added nine.
Both teams shot well from three-point range. UAPB was 8 for 18 for 44.4 percent, just outdoing Oklahoma State’s 10 for 25 for 40 percent. The Cowboys were solid from the field, hitting 30 of 58 for 51.7 percent compared to the Lions’ 24 of 58 for 41.4 percent.
At the free-throw line, the Cowboys hit 27 of 41 free throws (65.9 percent), and the Lions made 7 of 12 (58.3 percent).