NORMAL, Ala. — The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff didn't need any last-minute heroics from senior guard Martaveous McKnight to beat Alabama A&M this time around.
He did more than enough damage during the duration of the game, particular over the final five minutes, to help the Golden Lions pick up another victory over the Bulldogs.
McKnight scored a game-high 24 points, including a 9 of 10 effort from the foul line, to push UAPB to a convincing 69-60 victory over Alabama A&M on Monday night at the T.M. Elmore Gym.
The last time the two teams met, McKnight drilled a step-back three-pointer just before the buzzer sounded to push the Golden Lions past the Bulldogs 50-49 on Jan. 14. Alabama A&M, again, didn't have an answer for the Mississippi native.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason player of the year was 7-of-14 shooting and added four rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Golden Lions (9-15, 6-5), who won the final two games of their four-game road trip in impressive fashion. Three other players landed in double figures for UAPB, with sophomore forward Artavious McDyess finishing with 13 points. Sophomore forwards Terrance Banyard and Shaun Doss each had 11 points.
Senior guard Jalen Reeder scored 15 points to pace Alabama A&M (5-20, 4-7), which didn't get its first lead until early in the second half. Senior forward Andre Kennedy had 14.
UAPB held a seven-point cushion midway through the first half and led 29-28 at the break before Alabama A&M managed to take a 39-37 lead on a three-pointer from junior guard Walter Jones with 13:27 left in the game. The Golden Lions would soon regain the lead on a lay-up up and free-throw from Doss over the next 19 seconds.
The teams continued to go back and forth, with a 23-footer from junior Evan Wiley pulling the Bulldogs within 56-55 with less than six minutes to go. But McKnight would then take over, scoring the Golden Lions' final 13 points to close out the victory.
The Golden Lions will attempt to build on their two-game winning streak when they face Southern on Saturday in their first game at H.O. Clemmons since Jan. 28. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
FAST BREAKThe 24 points were the most by McKnight since he scored 30 against Texas Southern on Jan. 26. Banyard's seven rebounds were tied for a game-high with Alabama A&M junior guard Gerron Scissum. UAPB hit more than 50 percent of its shots for the second game in a row. The Golden Lions have beaten the Bulldogs six consecutive times. Alabama A&M didn't record a block in the game while UAPB had five, two of which came from Doss. UAPB went 14 of 19 from the free-throw line in the second half. The Golden Lions had just three turnovers after halftime after committing 11 in the first half.