Prairie View A&M made five three-pointers in the early parts of the second half — extending its lead to as much 25 at one point — as the Lady Panthers defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 80-67 and handed the Lady Lions their fourth straight loss Saturday night inside the H.O. Clemmons Arena.
“We went to a zone on them because we felt like they were getting to the line too much,” UAPB head coach Nate Kilbert said. “We didn’t feel like we were quick enough to play them man, so we went to our 1-3-1 zone.
“… I just thought they were too quick. Their guards are too good.”
A&M (9-14, 9-4 SWAC) was leading 42-33 with 13:10 remaining in the game when Alexus Parker hit a three-pointer from the right side to give the Lady Panthers a 12-point lead over UAPB (3-21, 2-12).
Jeanette Jackson hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 11:36 left and LaReahn Jackson followed with a quick two as A&M extended its lead to 50-33.
“We didn’t keep the game close enough to keep pressure on them,” Kilbert said.
Jackson, who finished with a game-high 25 points, hit her third three-pointer of the night with 9:44 left to give A&M a 56-35 lead.
Jackson was 6 of 12 from the floor and was 10 of 10 at the free-throw line.
As a team, A&M was 24 of 26 (92.3 percent) from the free-throw line.
“That’s why they are winning,” Kilbert said. “We would have won a lot more games if we could shoot free throws better.
“Free throw shooting is a big part of winning. They are very good at it.”
Kilbert said, “If we can get better at that area, you’ll see us start to improve.”
UAPB was 23 of 65 (35.4 percent) from the floor and 18 of 23 (78.3 percent) from the free throw line. A&M was 25 of 59 (42.4 percent) from the floor.
“We didn’t get a lot of great play from our post kids,” Kilbert said. “I thought they hustled, they just didn’t finish plays.
“When you are playing against a team like Prairie View, you got to finish plays down low.”
Part of the problem for UAPB was trying to matchup with Prairie View sophomore Shamiya Brooks (6-foot-4) and junior Asha Hampton-Finch (6-foot-3).
“It was difficult defensively and offensively,” Kilbert said. “They blocked a lot of our shots because we were trying to shoot over them.
“They really weren’t jumping, they were just standing with their hands straight up.”
Brooks finished with 16 points — including eight of Prairie View’s first 15 points. She was 5 of 10 shooting and was 6 of 6 at the free-throw line. She had eight rebounds and three blocks.
“I thought their big post played real well for them tonight,” Kilbert said.
Hampton-Finch finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Parker finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Kilbert said when post players are causing that much trouble inside, “you got to go around them.”
“You can’t shoot over them,” Kilbert said. “We tried to do that too much.”
UAPB junior Amber Haggie scored a team-high 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting. Carlisha Walker had 11 points including 5 of 6 at the free-throw line.
Freshman Mollie Campbell chipped in with 10 points. The Lady Lions outrebounded the Lady Panthers 44-37 and turned it over 16 times.
UAPB senior Christina Lasane, who leads the team in scoring, finished with just six points and was 1 of 9 from the floor.
“She got a lot of good open looks and for us to be successful, she has to make those shots,” Kilbert said. “I think she played like she was a little winded and we can’t afford for her to play that way.”
UAPB will host Texas Southern on Monday beginning at 5:30 p.m.