EL PASO, Texas — The road warrior Arkansas-Pine Bluff basketballers hung tough with Don Haskins Invitational host UTEP for most of Thursday's consolation-round matchup. But, despite sophomore Daniel Broughton's efforts early and swing forward Mitchell Anderson's scoring touch late, the Golden Lions fell to the Miners 78-58 at the Don Haskins Center.
EL PASO, Texas — The road warrior Arkansas-Pine Bluff basketballers hung tough with Don Haskins Invitational host UTEP for most of Thursday’s consolation-round matchup. But, despite sophomore Daniel Broughton’s efforts early and swing forward Mitchell Anderson’s scoring touch late, the Golden Lions fell to the Miners 78-58 at the Don Haskins Center.
Broughton scored a career-high 30 points while Anderson (18 points) pitched in 10 second-half points to offset the dominating Miner inside game. Six-foot-9 freshman Cedrick Lang (22 points) and 6-7 Gabriel McCulley combined for 40 while 6-10 sophomore John Bohannon added 10 rebounds to power UTEP.
Pine Bluff local Broughton utilized a hidden stellar outside shooting touch to carry his club throughout a tight first half. The 6-foot-8 post player hit four three-pointers in a 4:02 span and then lefty swing forward Anderson followed with successive pull-up jumpers to hand the Golden Lions a 23-21 edge with less than 10 minutes to play in the half.
“Once I hit that first one and then another (three-pointer),” said the sophomore Broughton, “I was just gonna keep shooting the ball.”
But, what kept the 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifiers in the contest was the very thing that eventually knocked them out as the deep, outside jumpers started finding front rim instead of net. UTEP junior point guard Jacques Streeter (8 points) grabbed three of those long rebounds and went coast-to-coast for buckets — the last with the help of an Anderson goaltending call — as the Miners got the transition game cranked up, taking a comfortable 47-34 advantage into the locker room.
Golden Lion leading scorer Savalace Townsend (3 points on 1-of-10 shooting), checked primarily by UTEP freshmen guards C.J. Cooper and D’Von Campbell, went scoreless over the first 20 minutes. His turnaround jumper at the halftime buzzer spun out, typifying his atypically poor shooting night.
“It was just one of those nights,” said Townsend, who totaled 18 points, seven assists and nine rebounds in Wednesday’s first-round loss to Jacksonville State. “I couldn’t get anything to fall.”
Townsend banked in a lefty runner on Pine Bluff’s first possession of the second half for his only bucket, but it was Anderson who carried the scoring load throughout. His pull-up preceded transition three-balls from the right corner and left wing as the Golden Lions cut a 19-point deficit all the way down to 67-58 with 6:45 still to play.
“We saw that as a positive,” said Townsend. “Down nine with your go-to guy not producing. That was a winnable game.”
But UAPB would go scoreless the rest of the way, as the Miners dominated inside with a 33-24 rebounding edge for the night. The Golden Lions now make the 30-mile trip Northwest to Las Cruces for a 1 p.m. CST Saturday tipoff at the Pan American Center with New Mexico State (8-5). UAPB opens its Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule Jan. 3 at Mississippi Valley State, with road games at Alabama A&M and Alabama State to follow.
“We felt like if we were going to be on the road (to open conference play) anyway, we wanted to be out on the road already,” head coach George Ivory said of scheduling a season-opening two-month road trip. “I think it’s gonna help us a lot.”
Added Anderson, “I’m not worried about it a bit.”
UAPB’s long awaited season opener is set for Jan 14, when Southern University comes in to visit the H. O. Clemmons Arena.
“I’m ready for a home game,” Broughton said. “The first home game’s always exciting.”