ATLANTA – In a game that saw its share of spurts from both squads, in the end, it was a strong surge from the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions that provided the positive outcome as they edged out the Tuskegee (Ala.) Golden Tigers, 66-64, in the HBCU Tip-Off Challenge at Morehouse College.
For the majority of the first half, UAPB and Tuskegee fought nip-and-tuck with neither team being able to seize control. However, as the half came to a close, the Golden Lions (1-0) drained some key baskets to go up 37-30 at the break.
Early in the second half, UAPB led by as many as 10 points and appeared to be pushing all the right buttons for a lopsided win. But the presumable joy of a cake walk victory would be short-lived. The combination of sloppy ball handling, miscommunication on offense and poor positioning in the low post for rebounds led to a frigid six-minute scoreless drought.
During the team’s dry spell, Tuskegee clawed its way back into contention and eventually grabbed a one-point edge, 47-46. Although UAPB struggled with offensive cohesiveness in the second half, it never allowed Tuskegee to take advantage and build an insurmountable flow.
This was due large in part to the play of senior forward, Davon Haynes.
The First Team All-SWAC stud had a monster performance, posting 15 points and 11 rebounds. Haynes connected on 2 of 3 from behind the arc.
“I think we played a good game overall for this to be the opener,” said Haynes. “We just have to step it up with our free throws and boxing out for rebounds. We’ll watch the film, study and be prepared for the next challenge.”
Guard Marcel Mosley also scored in double figures, netting 18 points. Mosley’s outing included game-highs in assists (3) and steals (4) in addition to hitting two clutch free throws with 8 seconds on the clock to secure the win.
“Marcel did a great job in the second half getting guys involved and stepped up big with his free throws at the end,” said UAPB head coach George Ivory. “I’m glad we got the win and this let our guys know that you have to get up for every ballgame.”
UAPB closes out the inaugural HBCU Tip-Off Challenge against host school, Morehouse College, Monday night.