A second half drought and a critical play by Alcorn State in overtime proved to be the difference as the Arkansas-Pine Bluff women’s basketball team was handed its 14th straight loss Monday night at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
“They started to get real aggressive and I think it worn on us,” UAPB head coach Nate Kilbert said. “That’s what they did to us. They wore us down.
“But you got to make lay ups and you got to make free throws, all those things that we did not do.”
For the second game in a row, UAPB has seen a winnable game slip from their fingers in the second half.
Leading by as much as 12 points in the first half – including a nine point halftime lead – UAPB (1-14, 0-5 SWAC) made 6 of 23 (26 percent) from the floor in the second half and watched as Alcorn State (2-15, 1-5) handed the Lady Lions a 64-58 loss in overtime.
UAPB was 1 of 7 from the floor in overtime and 4 of 6 from the free throw line as Alcorn State outscored the Lady Lions 12-6 on their way to the six-point win.
“We were struggling at the line at key times too,” Kilbert said. “You can shoot free throws bad, as long as you make the important ones down the stretch.
“We missed some down the stretch that would have pulled us away from them.”
With less than 30 seconds left in overtime – and UAPB down by two – Alcorn State’s Jasmine Cunningham, who finished with 10 points, missed a shot giving the Lady Lions a chance to either tie or win the game.
But following the rebound by UAPB, Tierro Frost stole the ball and quickly gave it right back to Cunningham who laid it for the easy bucket, giving the Lady Braves a 62-58 lead.
“That play was all heart,” UAPB senior Christina Lasane said. “They wanted the game more than us.
“If we had just wanted the game a little bit more we would have won. A lot of our heart has got to open up and we got to play harder.”
Cortini Cooper knocked down two insurance free throws with seven seconds left as Alcorn State snapped their 14 game losing streak.
Lasane, who notched her first double-double of the season with 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead all scorers, scored five of UAPB’s six points in overtime.
“It was a real good performance out of myself,” Lasane said. “But it was a hard loss for my team.
“I wish we could have pulled it out, but we just came up a little short.”
UAPB was 18 of 50 (36 percent) from the floor for the game and 20 of 31 (64 percent) from the free throw line.
“You just can’t miss those when you aren’t a superior team,” Kilbert said of UAPB’s free throw struggles. “And we’re not. We’re nowhere near that.
“…We turned the ball over too much and at key times during the game. We had so many opportunities to win the game and we just didn’t capitalize on them.”
Frost led Alcorn State with 25 points on 7 of 23 shooting and 9 of 14 from the free throw line. She also grabbed seven rebounds.
“They don’t really have anybody other than (Tierro) Frost,” Kilbert said. “All the rest of them just chip in.”
Alcorn State was 21 of 63 (33 percent) from the floor and 19 of 33 (57 percent) from the free throw line.
“I thought the difference in the game was the way (Alcorn State) hustled,” Kilbert said. “They never stopped hustling.”
UAPB didn’t get their first basket of the second half until Carlisha Walker hit a bucket with 11:56 left in the game and extend the Lady Lions’ lead to 35-32.
For UAPB, Cassidy Wright finished with 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting. Charissee Carr, who was 4 of 6 from the free throw line, chipped in with six points and six rebounds.
UAPB will travel to Prairie View A&M on Saturday and will return home on Feb. 1 to host Grambling State beginning at 5 p.m.