EL PASO, Texas — The Arkansas-Pine Bluff men's basketball season-opening two-month road trip continued in familiar fashion Wednesday night.
EL PASO, Texas — The Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s basketball season-opening two-month road trip continued in familiar fashion Wednesday night.
The Golden Lions (1-10) scored the game’s first four points, but very few thereafter. Jacksonville State guard Brian Williams scored a team-high 15 points to lead four Gamecocks in double figures as UAPB dropped a 78-55 decision to Jacksonville State in opening night action at the 50th Annual Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Tournament at the Haskins Center.
UAPB standout point guard Savalace Townsend equaled his 18-point average in defeat, adding nine rebounds and seven assists in the losing effort. Low post Daniel Broughton added 14 tough points in the paint while fellow forward Mitchell Anderson joined his teammates in double figures with 11 points.
The loss, the eighth straight for the Golden Lions, landed Pine Bluff a 6:30 p.m. CST tip-off tonight in consolation game action against host UTEP (56-53 loser to Colorado State in earlier action). Jacksonville State (6-8) will move to the tourney’s title game, scheduled for an 8:30 start.
Pine Bluff opened the game quickly. Broughton hit a step-back 12-footer on the Lions’ first possession of the evening and Anderson added a lefty spinner as UAPB took a two-basket early edge. But Jacksonville State combo guard Brian Williams (10 first-half points) hit a pull-up jumper, a lefty jump-hook and a three-ball from the left wing, scoring seven straight points to give his Gamecocks an 8-4 lead they’d never relinquish.
An Anderson 3-pointer from the right wing closed a seven-point gap to within 16-14 at the 6 1/2 minute mark.That’s when Jacksonville State went to a 1-2-2 fullcourt press late, forcing three successive Lions turnovers that left UAPB down 33-21 at the break.
A concerted effort to punch the ball into Broughton in the low post netted some temporary positive results early in the second half. He hit a cutting Anderson on a post-to-post pass for a bucket, knocked down a floater from a Thompson feed and added a hoop and a foul to move within 42-33 with 14:03 left in the game.
“We’ve got to continue to look for (Broughton) more,” fourth-year Golden Lions head coach George Ivory said. “And he’s got to stay out of foul trouble because he can help us out a whole lot down there with hils ability.”
But Jacksonville State big man Stephen Hall finished with his left hand for an and-one while fellow low post player Tarvin Gaines hit back-to-back stickbacks in an 8-second span as the Gamecocks ran off 12 straight points to put the contest on ice.
Darion Rackley pitched in 14 points for the winners.