Arkansas-Pine Bluff has found many aspects of the game to improve on as the SWAC men's basketball season has progressed.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff has found many aspects of the game to improve on as the SWAC men’s basketball season has progressed.
One of them was rebounding, and the Golden Lions took it very seriously in Monday’s 61-58 victory over Prairie View A&M. UAPB (7-21, 6-9 SWAC) totaled 50 rebounds in the game, outrebounding the Panthers by 12.
Opponents have topped the Lions in that category 36.0-33.3 on average.
“That’s one thing we had to get better at,” coach George Ivory said. “We had some great practices. They looked very focused (Friday night). They’re ready to play.”
Mitchell Anderson led the way on the glass for the Lions with a season-high 15 boards to go along with 24 points.
The junior swingman was one point shy of matching another season high. He scored 25 when UAPB beat Jackson State 73-69 on Jan. 30 in Pine Bluff. Tonight, the two teams will meet again in Jackson, Miss., in a battle for sixth place in the SWAC, which UAPB leads by a half-game.
“We’re playing them pretty tough,” Ivory said. “One thing about it, if the guys compete and play hard, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Ivory hopes starting center Daniel Broughton will make it to Jackson for tonight’s game. Broughton did not travel with the team to be with his family for Friday’s visitation services for his late grandmother, Ivory said.
The Lions are still struggling to shoot well from the floor, having slipped from first to a second-place tie with Alcorn State at 41.0 percent. (Texas Southern leads at 41.6 percent.) They have shot below their average for the past five games.
“We hope to shoot a lot better than we’ve been,” Ivory said, adding UAPB has done better at free-throw shooting.
UAPB has benefited from the emergence of former football standout Rontrell Bailey, who joined the team eight games into the season and has made 13 starts. Although he boasts only 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, he shoots 44 percent from the floor and is second on the team in foul shooting at 74.2 percent (minimum 10 shots).
“We thought Rontrell came in and did an outstanding job for us,” Ivory said. “He’s a guy that does so many things well. I thought he did a great job for us this year.”
Golden Lions statistical leaders
• Points per game: 1. Savalace Townsend, 16.4; 2. Mitchell Anderson, 10.9; 3. Daniel Broughton, 10.2
• Rebounds per game: 1. Anderson, 6.3; 2. Broughton, 6.0; 3. Townsend, 4.4
• Assists per game: 1. Townsend, 3.1; 2. Lazabian Jackson, 2.7; 3. Clay Johnson, 1.8
• Free-throw percentage (minimum 10 shots): 1. Jackson, 49-65 (75.4); 2. Rontrell Bailey, 23-31 (74.2); 3. Townsend, 134-182 (73.6)
• Field-goal percentage (minimum 10 shots): 1. Jaylon Floyd, 8-16 (50.0); 2. Jamar Harris, 18-37 (48.6); 3. Clay Johnson, 32-66 (48.5)
• Three-point field-goal percentage (minimum 10 shots): 1. Broughton. 8-19 (42.1); 2. Townsend, 29-87 (33.3); tie-3. Derrius Nelson and Bailey, 4-13 (30.8)