Lions-Beavers postponed until Sunday

The bad weather in the South apparently has grounded the Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s basketball team for about a day.

The weather has prevented UAPB from taking off from a Dallas airport Friday, thus causing the postponement of Saturday’s game against Oregon State to Sunday. The tipoff time in Corvallis, Ore., remains 2 p.m.

UAPB coach George Ivory confirmed the postponement at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The game will conclude an eight-day break for the Golden Lions (2-6), who won’t play again for another nine days after Sunday. On a six-game losing streak, they are hurting for their first win against a Division I team this season and first win since beating Morehouse (Ga.) on Nov. 11.

During their most recent trip around Texas for the Corpus Christi Challenge, the Lions went 0-4 and came within single digits of a victory just once — last Saturday against Hampton. The Lions are looking to shoot better from the floor and stay in contention during the second half, both of which they’ve struggled with often this season.

Opponents have outshot the Lions 49 percent to 39.6 percent. Davon Haynes has been UAPB’s most consistent player, leading the team with 12.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Defensively, UAPB will get a serious challenge from the Pacific-12’s two leading scorers in 6-foot-4 guard Roberto Nelson (25.4 points per game) and 6-8 senior Devon Collier (23.0). The two form the top-scoring tandem in the nation.

Stopping those two may not be enough. The Beavers have the ability to shoot consistently well, hitting 50 percent or better in their last four games.

Oregon State (3-2), coached by President Obama’s brother-in-law Craig Robinson, is the fourth power-conference team UAPB will have faced this season (Oklahoma State of the Big 12, SMU of the American Athletic and Texas A&M of the SEC), but the Beavers have been stunned by a mid-major team once so far. Coppin State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference shocked Oregon State in Corvallis, 78-73, to start the Beavers’ season.

OSU since has beaten Portland, Maryland and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, but lost at DePaul 93-81 in its last outing despite Collier’s 32 points.