MONTGOMERY, Ala. — This was Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s opportunity to go into its first home game of the season with plenty of momentum and a 3-0 start to SWAC play for the second consecutive season.
But like it did often in nonconference play, UAPB faltered in the second half.
Alabama State outscored the Golden Lions 47-28 in the second and overcame a six-point halftime deficit to beat the Golden Lions 77-64 Monday night in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. The loss ended the Lions’ second two-game winning streak of the season and snapped a string of four consecutive wins against the Hornets, dating back to the 2011-12 regular season.
Jamel Waters scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Hornets (9-6, 3-1 SWAC) and added seven assists. Bobby Brown added 17 points and six rebounds, DeMarcus Robinson had 11 points and Maurice Strong nearly finished with a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Marcel Mosley and Davon Haynes each scored 18 points to lead UAPB (4-11, 2-1), which led by as much as 30-18 late in the first half. Tevin Hammond added 1 points and Haynes also had eight rebounds.
UAPB’s defeat prevents a battle of unbeaten teams in conference play. Southern (8-9, 4-0 SWAC) will pay the Lions a visit on Saturday at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
The Lions made a bucket to start the second half and lead 38-30 before Bama State scored seven unanswered points. The Hornets took their first lead at 40-39 on a three-point play by Brandon Graham, but the Lions responded with a three-point bucket and jumper from Daniel Broughton (eight points) to build a 44-40 lead, their largest advantage the rest of the way.
Tied at 46 with 12:03 left, the game went back and forth for more than 6 minutes. Then Alabama State went on a 12-4 run to lead 70-62 with 2:11 left. Hammond scored to close the gap to six points, but the Hornets got a three from Brown and a dunk from Strong to put it away.
UAPB hit 20 of 45 from the field for 44.4 percent (including 5 of 15 from three-point range), but made only 19 of 29 free throws for 65.5 percent. Bama State converted 24 of 51 from the field for 47.1 percent (including 9 of 22 from the arc) and made 20 of 28 free throws for 71.4 percent.
Alabama State 70, UAPB 61
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama State outscored UAPB 38-29 in the second half to provide the difference and hand the Lady Lions (1-12, 0-3 SWAC) their 12th consecutive loss.
Alabama State (8-7, 1-3 SWAC) took 25 free throws — 10 more than UAPB — and converted 17 of them. UAPB, which made 11 of 15 free throws, was whistled for 20 fouls, five more than the host team.
The Lady Lions made 14 of 31 shots (45.2 percent) in the first half but slightly cooled off in the second half, when they struggled to 9-of-24 shooting (37.5 percent). They made 4 of 7 three point baskets.
Cassidy Wright led a balanced scoring attack for UAPB with 14 points and added four assists while playing the entire game. Christina Lasane had 12 points, and Charisse Carr and Jazmyne Victorian each added 11 points. Carr pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Lady Hornets forward Brittney Wright led all scorers with 21 points and had seven rebounds. She made 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.
Taila Arrington added 11 points and Quentori Alford had 10 rebounds to go with four points for the Lady Hornets.
Alabama State went 24 for 64 from the field (37.5 percent) including 5 for 19 from the perimeter.