Jackson State forced a couple of late turnovers and completely overwhelmed a sluggish Arkansas-Pine Bluff as the Lady Lions fell 78-69 Monday night at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
“Their speed overwhelmed us, no question about it,” UAPB head coach Nate Kilbert said. “We knew they were real quick, especially at the guard position.
“And they forced us to play a game that we really don’t want to play.”
The Lady Lions (2-17, 1-8 SWAC) got within four points with 3:58 after a bucket by junior Jazmyne Victorian. But then the Lady Tigers (8-11, 6-3) went on an 8-3 run to take a 72-63 lead with 2:15 left to play.
“I thought (Cassidy) Wright played one of her worse games all year,” Kilbert said. “And this is the time when we really needed her.
“After we gotten within four, she had two nonchalant plays where she just gave the ball to them.
“You can’t do that. Not against Jackson.”
Wright finished the game 0 for 5 from the floor. Victorian scored a game-high 24 points on 9 of 14 shooting and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.
“We depended on her so much I think we kind of wore her down,” Kilbert said of Victorian’s performance. “Later on when the game got tight, she missed a couple of big rebounds that she should have had.
“She played well enough for us to win. We just needed more people to step their game up and it didn’t happen.”
With 3:51 left in the game, Jackson’s Ekwara Ndongo made one of two from the free throw line to push the lead back up to five. Dominique Brothern grabbed a steal and scored to give the Lady Tigers a 67-60 lead.
Alisa Ross made two free throws with 2:55 left to give Jackson State a nine-point lead.
“It went from four to 10 quickly because of that speed that they have,” Kilbert said. “They are not big, they are a small team.
“… They overwhelmed us with their speed and we just never made the adjustments.”
Victorian finally answered with a three-point play and the Lady Lions got back with in six points with 2:28 left.
Ross led Jackson State with 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting and 5 of 6 from the free throw line. Brothern scored 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting and 5 of 6 from the charity stripe.
Ayanna Hardy-Fuller contributed with 14 points and Kameron Jones chipped in 12.
“Our energy was a little less than it was against Grambling but it wasn’t that much,” Kilbert said. “Jackson made us look a little less energized because they are so fast.
“Jackson made us look a little slower than what we are.”
UAPB was 23 of 56 (41 percent) from the floor on Monday but was 22 of 26 (84 percent) from the free throw line. Jackson State was 29 of 47 (61 percent) and was 19 of 32 (59 percent) from the free throw line.
“We pressed almost the whole game and we are not a pressing team,” Kilbert said. “But they didn’t handle it well so we stayed in it.
“We didn’t have enough kids ready to play to the style we had to play tonight.”
UAPB senior Christina Lasane scored 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting and 5 of 5 from the line. Carlisha Walker scored 13 points and was 9 of 10 from the stripe. Destiny Ham chipped in with nine points.
UAPB will host Alabama A&M on Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.