Arkansas-Pine Bluff forward Jenise Gentry hears the talk about her team from people on campus all of the time.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff forward Jenise Gentry hears the talk about her team from people on campus all of the time.

Those people doubt whether the Lady Lions will win a basketball game this season.

The UAPB women are 0-18 overall and 0-7 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Only once have they finished within double-digits of their opponents, and that was an eight-point loss to Alabama State.

But despite how the season has gone and what Gentry hears on a daily basis, the team believes it will not finish the season without a victory.

“From the people outside looking in there’s doubts,” Gentry said. “As far as a team, there is no doubt. We feel we can win and we are still together as a team.

“As long as we believe, that’s enough.”

This is not the first time a Lady Lions team has struggled to pick up its first win of the season. Last year, UAPB finished the season 1-27 after an 0-16 start.

Gentry, a junior, said the constant losing does affect the team.

“It’s pretty bad, but as it goes on, we still have to fight and be together as one,” she said. “We are aggravated and upset about it, but it makes us fight more.

“Sometimes it’s enough and sometimes it’s not, but you still have to come in and fight hard.”

UAPB coach Cary Shelton has an easy way of describing his team’s situation.

“It’s a heavy dose of reality,” he said. “The girls know what we are up against, and they want to win like the rest of us.

“We have a bunch of good girls. I just expected more out of them and I am challenging them to step up.”

The Lady Lions seemed to be turning the corner with the eight-point loss to Alabama State on Jan. 9 with two home games coming up.

But UAPB dropped both games by double-digits and then lost 57-36 to Texas Southern — just the third win of the season for Texas Southern.

The Lady Lions followed that loss up with a 102-51 defeat Monday at the hands of Prairie View A&M, which had a 60-18 halftime lead.

That was the last game UAPB has played.

“It’s very discouraging,” Gentry said of the last couple of losses. “But it’s something we have to bounce back from. It’s something that’s happened before, so we just have to bounce back from it.”

A 1-45 record over the past two seasons might be alarming to a coach’s job security as well, but Shelton said he is not thinking about that.

“You can’t worry about that,” he said. “I am here to do a job and here to do it to the best of my ability. I want to do the university proud.”

Just like everyone on campus, Gentry and her teammates have talked about what the team needs to do to get that elusive win.

So far, they are still trying to come up with the answer.

“I see that we are improving as a team and coming together, and it’s just something that is keeping us from getting that win,” she said. “I can’t really pinpoint it, and it’s just something that me and my teammates have sat down and talked about, but we just can’t get it figured out.”

The team is hoping to figure it out within the next four games, which are all at home for the Lady Lions.

On Saturday, UAPB plays Grambling State at 5 p.m., followed by Jackson State at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Grambling is 3-4 in the conference and Jackson State is 4-3.

Despite being winless on the year and talks around campus about whether the team will pick up a win, Shelton said he thinks the fans will show up for the team in the upcoming home games.

“We’ve got great support,” he said. “They come out and support us, and we want to make sure we come out and do our part.”

Gentry said the team would really like to get the win at home for the fans.

“We are very hungry for this first home win,” she said. “We are just trying to get a win for our fans so they can stop doubting us and can see that we are the team that we are.

“They have seen that we have heart and fight, so they have seen that. They just haven’t seen a win.”