The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Lady Lions won their second consecutive game in conference Monday night against the Alabama State Lady Hornets 55-53.
The Lady Lions came out with an 8-4 start over the Lady Hornets. Destiny Brewton scored on a layup to put the Lady Lions ahead 10-4, but Tatyana Calhoun scored the next six points for Alabama State to tie the game.
After trading baskets, both teams were tied at the end of the first quarter.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Areleatha Gipson hit a triple for Alabama State, but Kye Richardson answered back with a triple of her own for the Lady Lions to tie the game.
With under two minutes remaining in the first half, Trasity Totten nailed a wide open triple, and Brewton completed a three-point play to give UAPB some momentum heading into halftime as they held a slight 28-27 edge over the Lady Hornets.
The Lady Hornets took a 38-34 lead early in the third quarter with seven straight points from Gipson.
However, Shawntayla Harris and Richardson combined for the next eight points to put UAPB ahead 42-40 at the end of third quarter.
Richardson nailed a triple in the first few seconds of the fourth quarter for UAPB, and after a free throw from Aiya El Hassan, Brewton made an easy layup to cap off a 6-0 run for the Lady Lions.
The Lady Hornets nailed two free throws, and Calhoun added four more points to tie the game at 48-48 with under five minutes left in the game.
Noe'll Taylor made a basket and Faith Ohanta added a free throw for the Lady Lions to take a 51-48 lead late in the fourth quarter, but both Calhoun and Gipson made a basket to put the Lady Hornets back ahead 52-51.
With under a minute left, Brewton knocked down a free throw for UAPB to tie the game, but Gipson made one of her own to regain the lead for Alabama State at 53-52.
On the following possession, Harris made a clutch post move and score for UAPB for the lead 54-53.
Alabama State failed to score on the next possession, and Malaik Muhammad was fouled and sent to the free throw line for UAPB to make a free throw that would seal a win for the Lady Lions.
The Lady Lions were led by Richardson and Brewton, who both finished with 11 points in their victory. Harris added 10 points and eight rebounds to UAPB's total.
For Alabama State, Calhoun had a game-high of 18 points, and Gipson added 13 points for the Lady Hornets.
The Alabama State Hornets came into H.O. Clemmons arena Monday night and knocked off the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions 65-59. The Hornets proved why they were selected to finish in the top three of the Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason standings.
Alabama State let it be known early that they were going to dump in down low to their junior 6'8 forward Fausto Pichardo, who scored the Hornets’ first six points. Nonetheless, UAPB forwards Trent Steen and Travon Harper were battling back, and with work done on the offensive glass they made sure the Hornets didn't build a large lead.
The Golden Lions matched the size of the Hornets down low by using their arm length for rejections at the basket. A 5-0 run was sparked after an under-the-bucket inbound pass. On offense, precision passing was key for the Golden Lions getting easy looks and opening up a 13-8 advantage.
After the under 12 media timeout, ASU preseason all-SWAC selection Rodney Simeon connected on his first deep ball. UAPB Head Coach George Ivory inserted freshman forward Terrance Banyard, who provided instant production on both ends of the floor.
Hornets Head Coach Lewis Jackson went with a full court press in attempts to speed UAPB up. After the Hornets tied it up at 18, Banyard rose up for a monster two-hand slam, giving the Golden Lions a two-point lead at the under eight media timeout.
However, Alabama State guards Tobi Ewuosho and Reginald Gee helped the Hornets open up a 7-0 run to give them their first lead since the opening moments of the ball game. ASU point guard Jacoby Ross recorded his first field goal of the game on a three pointer to extend their lead to five.
Ivory then re-inserted starting guards Charles Jackson and Martaveous McKnight. Jackson then single-handedly scored five unanswered points to knot the score.
However, the Hornets continued to score directly out of the media timeouts on set plays. For UAPB, on the ensuing play McKnight knocked down his first triple of the game to bring the Golden Lions within three as ASU looked to create separation. The final two minutes of the first half consisted of both teams trading baskets, and the Hornets went into intermission with a 36-33 advantage.
The Hornets showed grit coming out of halftime as they were the first ones to all of the loose balls. The Golden Lions didn't score their first points of the second half until the 16:47 mark after a slow start.
Pichardo made the Golden Lions have to stay aware of his abilities to score in the post, which opened up outside shots for the Hornets. Ross knocked down his second three of the game to give ASU an eight-point lead.
After the under 12 media timeout, McKnight became more aggressive on offense searching for his shot. To slow McKnight down, Coach Jackson turned up the defensive pressure by picking up full-court and forcing UAPB into bad spots on the floor.
With the game's intensity level rising, at the 8:45 mark a scrum broke out, and two technical fouls on UAPB and a technical on ASU were administered. After the madness was cleared, the Hornets held a 51-44 advantage over UAPB.
The Golden Lions were getting to the line and knocking down their free throws to creep closer. Moments later, McKnight connected on a fade away jumper off the glass to keep it a two possession ball game.
Whatever UAPB did, Pichardo just wouldn't go away, and right before the final media timeout he grabbed another offensive rebound and scored on a put back lay up.
Down six with a little over two minutes to play, the Golden Lions had no choice but to apply major pressure in hopes of forcing turnovers. The defense caused ASU to take bad shots, and they were giving the Golden Lions a chance by missing at the free throw line.
McKnight hit a slashing Banyard for a tough and-one lay up to make it 59-56 with 1:12 to play, and the Golden Lions home crowd came to their feet.
However, the Hornets approached the foul line composed in the clutch and knocked down their shots to maintain the lead. Toughness was on display for the entire game by the Hornets and it helped them pull out a win over the SWAC's top team.
Fausto Pichardo led the Hornets with 17 points.
For UAPB, Martaveous McKnight recorded a game-high 20 points in a losing effort.
UAPB now goes on the road to take on the Southern Jaguars on Saturday.