Enough waiting, already. Arkansas-Pine Bluff has plenty of basketball left to play.
Following a 78-73 win against Mississippi Valley State in Greenwood, Miss., UAPB had to wait a full week to resume SWAC action. It’s the fifth time since the season began the Golden Lions have had to let seven or more days pass by between games.
Now, through the end of the season, the Saturday-and-Monday routine of SWAC hoops is nonstop for the Lions (3-10, 1-0 SWAC), who will close out their arduous 15-game stretch away from Pine Bluff to start the season with a weekend swing through Alabama. UAPB will visit Alabama A&M today and travel to Alabama State on Monday.
UAPB coach George Ivory could not be reached Friday.
UAPB’s just a week away from its first home game against defending conference champion Southern, and if both teams have their way this weekend, it will be a battle for first place. Southern (6-9, 2-0) hosts Grambling State tonight and Jackson State on Monday.
But Alabama A&M (5-7, 2-0), which was 11-20 and 6-12 in the SWAC last season, is trying to keep pace with Southern.
The Bulldogs knocked off Grambling State 70-58 last Saturday and Jackson State 68-61, mainly behind the play of Jeremy Crutcher, a 5-foot-8 senior guard. Crutcher had 20 points against Jackson State, well over his 12.8-per game average. He’s also hitting 43.8 percent from three-point range.
Crutcher is just one part of a strong backcourt the Lions will need to slow down defensively. Senior swingman Demarquelle Tabb averages only 10 points a game, but he’s shooting 51.5 percent from the field.
UAPB enjoyed its best offensive game last Saturday against Valley in scoring its season high and hitting 57.8 percent from the floor. Davon Haynes scored 26 points, a career, high, to lead UAPB.
The solid shooting will be useful again as Alabama A&M has held 10 of its 12 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. But the return of senior center Daniel Broughton, who went 4 for 4 against Valley, gives UAPB more firepower on the floor. Broughton had missed the previous two games due to injury.
Golden Lions statistical leaders
• Points: Davon Haynes 13.4 per game; Tevin Hammond 13.2; Marcel Mosley 9.8; Daniel Broughton 7.9; Ghiavonni Robinson 6.2
• Field-goal shooting: Jaylon Floyd .563 (9-16); DeAndre McIntyre .517 (30-58); Jordan Brown .500 (3-6); Sean Tingle .444 (8-18); Haynes .435 (60-138)
• Three-point shooting: Trent Whiting .571 (4-7); Mosley .364 (20-55); Hammond .361 (26-72); Robinson .340 (17-50); Broughton .333 (6-18)
• Free-throw shooting: Chandler Savage, 1.000 (7-7); Mosley .862 (25-29); Robinson .818 (9-11); Hammond .737 (42-57)
• Rebounds: Haynes 7.1 per game; Broughton 4.5; McIntyre 2.3; Whiting 1.9; Robinson 1.9
• Total assists: Hammond 53, Mosley 29, Haynes 15, Savage 13, Robinson 10
• Total steals: Hammond 37, Mosley 26, Haynes 16, Savage 13, Robinson 10, McIntyre 10