Not So Solid Gold: Lions find no answer for Braves, drop third straight


Only one team in gold could win. And it wasn’t Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s night.

LeAntwan Luckett and Twan Oakley combined to knock down 13 of 16 field goals as Alcorn State won its fourth straight game, 71-45 over UAPB Monday night at H.O. Clemmons Arena. The loss is the third in a row for UAPB (4-13, 2-3 SWAC).

Octavius Brown scored 22 points and had eight rebounds to lead the streaking Braves (7-11, 4-2 SWAC), who overshadowed Davon Haynes’ game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Lions. Luckett had 19 points and four assists, while Oakley added 16 points and five assists.

“We were just in a (mental) zone and they were the decent shooters at the time,” Braves coach Luther Riley said. “The shots were falling for us.”

Both teams came out in their own version of gold uniforms. UAPB wore its usual home old gold while Alcorn State donned yellowish gold. Unless otherwise agreed by both teams, the road ballclub usually wears darker jerseys.

But UAPB’s old gold was dark enough to distinguish from Alcorn State, whose performance was as bright as its version of gold.

The Braves knocked down 25 of 49 from the field (51 percent), including 8 of 18 from three-point range, and made 13 of 17 free throws (76.5 percent). They committed only six turnovers to the Lions’ 15.

The 44 points is the lowest this season for UAPB, one of the worst scoring teams in the nation at 62.1 points per game (338th out of 351 Division I teas). The Lions made 17 of 44 from the field (38.6 percent), including 2 of 11 from the arc, and made 9 of 16 free throws (56.3 percent).

Things got a little heated between the head coaches shortly after the final buzzer, as UAPB’s George Ivory and Alcorn State’s Luther Riley exchanged words and had to be separated by assistant coach Kenneth Broyles.

Asked what was said during the exchange, Riley said: “Coach Ivory was just saying that we played a good game. I just thanked him. Certainly, he’s a great friend of mine. He’s a great coach. He has a great team.”

Ivory wasn’t available for comment after the game.

The Lions, for much of the game, did not play like the same team that started 2-0 in the SWAC and lost a 60-56 heartbreaker to conference leader Southern two days earlier. They seemed to lack the energy needed to stage a comeback in the second half, never pulling within its 13-point halftime margin.

When the Braves started to separate from the Golden Lions on the scoreboard, Luckett led the charge. He scored five straight points during a 9-0 run that broke a 13-all tie and seven in a row as part of a 7-0 run that all closed the first half.

Luckett hit 8 of 10 from the field.

Oakley went 0 for 1 in the first half and scored all 16 of his points in the second.

UAPB made only 8 of 22 field goals in the first frame, including none during an 8-minute stretch going into the second half. Marcel Mosley had all eight of his points before halftime, including a pair of back-to-back threes.

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GOLDEN LION NOTES: With Ivory not available for comment, neither was an update on the status of DeAndre McIntyre, who did not play Monday. The junior guard from Birmingham, Ala., left the game late in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Southern with a left knee injury after he attempted to block a shot in transition. Ivory said Saturday the team trainer diagnosed it as an anterior cruciate ligament tear, but McIntyre was to undergo tests Monday to confirm. … Each team missed its first two dunks in the game in Monday’s game. … Attendance on Monday was 4,435.