Lions hope to bounce back


Well, Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s first big test in men’s basketball this season didn’t go so well.

But Saturday, UAPB will try to wipe the ugly taste of Friday’s 97-63 loss at eighth-ranked Oklahoma State out of its mouth when it takes on a familiar nonconference opponent in Air Force near Colorado Springs, Colo. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. Central.

The Golden Lions (2-1) were hoping their 2-0 start to the season would lead to a competitive battle with the Cowboys. But even in the blowout, the Lions found some positives.

They learned how talented they are at the guard position. Reserve DeAndre McIntyre scored a game-high 13 points against Oklahoma State, giving the Lions a quality backup to Tevin Hammond and Ghiavonni Robinson. Robinson started in his collegiate debut Friday after missing two games while waiting to be cleared by the NCAA.

This marks the third straight season the Lions visit Air Force (1-2), which has won all six previous meetings dating back to 2003. But Air Force’s 84-82 loss to Jackson State on Thursday may give UAPB hope of a second nonconference win in a season under coach George Ivory for the first time.

Two players had career highs in scoring for the losing Falcons on Thursday. Tre Coggins, a 6-foot-2 guard, had 35 points while 6-4 guard Max Yon added 22, including six three-point baskets.

Air Force, which is picked to finish 10th in the 11-team Mountain West, lost its top six scorers from last season.

UAPB (2-1) at Air Force (1-2)

- When: 3 p.m. Central Saturday

- Where: Clune Arena, Air Force Academy, Colo. (north of Colorado Springs)

- Webcast: Goairforcefalcons.com

- Series: Air Force leads 6-0; last meeting Air Force 65, UAPB 49, at Air Force Academy, on Dec. 8, 2012