CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One thing’s for certain: Arkansas-Pine Bluff isn’t exactly a second-half team.
Hampton overcame a five-point halftime deficit and held UAPB to seven field goals in the second half en route to a 72-65 win to close out both teams’ stay in the Corpus Christi Challenge. UAPB, which hit 14 of 26 field goals in the first 20 minutes, went 7 for 21 in the final 20 minutes to finish 21 of 47 for 44.7 percent.
The game was a battle of two teams that sorely needed a victory. Hampton (3-5), of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, lost five straight after starting the season with wins over William & Mary and Saint Peter’s and had been defeated by 14 or more points in their previous three outings.
UAPB (2-6) has lost six in a row and has yet to defeat a Division I team this season. In each loss, it has blown a lead or given up a knockout run in the second half.
The closest the Golden Lions have come during the skid was a 67-64 loss at Air Force.
Against Hampton the Lions were within 65-63 against after a Davon Haynes free throw with 2:51 remaining, but a layup, three-point basket and jumper for the Pirates put the game out of reach. UAPB trailed 10-2 in the early going, but recovered with solid shooting to take a 37-32 lead into halftime.
UAPB led by as much as 43-32 after a Tevin Hammond three-point basket and was ahead 56-47 with 9:14 remaining. But Hampton responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.
Two of UAPB’s leading scorers on the season picked up their scoring Saturday, a day after a rough outing in a 75-49 loss to Sam Houston State. Daniel Broughton made 7 of 10 shots from the floor and led the Lions with 16 points. Marcel Mosley added 13 points for his first double-digit performance in the last four games.
Hammond added 12 points and Haynes had 11 points and seven rebounds, despite shooting 2 of 11 from the floor.
Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Pirates with 20 points. He hit 6 of 9 from the floor and 8 of 12 free throws.
Brian Darden shot 5 of 11, all from three-point range, and finished with 17, while Ramon Mercado added 10 for the Pirates.
Hampton had a steady shooting performance, knocking down 23 of 50 field goals for 46 percent, including 9 of 24 from three-point range. The Pirates made 17 of 24 free throws for 70.8 percent.
UAPB made 5 of 9 threes and shot 18 of 24 from the foul line for 75 percent. Haynes converted 6 of 8 free throws.
Both teams were even in points in the paint with 20 apiece. UAPB scored 20 points off 17 Hampton turnovers, while Hampton scored 12 off 14 UAPB errors. The Lions also had a 23-19 edge in bench points, but a 10-4 margin in second-chance points helped the Pirates.
UAPB will play just one game in the next 16 days, visiting Oregon State next Saturday. That will be followed by a showdown at Creighton on Dec. 17.