UA-Pine Bluff men fall at home to Alcorn State, 68-56

Lonnell Martin Jr. of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff attacks the basket against Michael Pajeaud of Alcorn State during the first half at UAPB's H.O. Clemmons Arena on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2024. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)
Lonnell Martin Jr. of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff attacks the basket against Michael Pajeaud of Alcorn State during the first half at UAPB's H.O. Clemmons Arena on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2024. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)


With one of its top players out, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff fell short at home Saturday.

The UAPB men’s basketball team fell 68-56 to Alcorn State at H.O. Clemmons Arena, the Golden Lions’ second-straight loss.

UAPB (10-13, 5-5 SWAC) found out Thursday night it would be without guard Rashad Williams, who averages 17.2 points per game. Head coach Solomon Bozeman said Williams hurt his wrist, and he doesn’t know when Williams will return.

“That’s a key piece for our team,” Bozeman said. “That’s a guy who averages 17 points, four assists a game, or close to four. I think it’s just sore right now; really, really sore. That’s all I know at this point.”

Without Williams available, Alcorn State (6-17, 5-5) held the Golden Lions to their lowest point total so far in SWAC play. UAPB shot 38 percent from the field and made 6 of 27 attempted 3-pointers.

Kylen Milton led UAPB with 19 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Lonnell Martin Jr. scored 11 points, shooting 3 of 9 from 3-point range.

Martin said UAPB needed more people to step up with Williams out.

“I think we had a slow shooting night, which hurt,” Martin said. “As far as defense, as far as offensive rebounds, I feel like we did an OK job. Holding teams under 70 points, 69 points, that’s our goal, and we did that. So, we just got to do a better job on the offensive end and come out with a little more toughness.”

Alcorn State forward Jeremiah Kendall led the Braves with 16 points. Jeremiah Gambrell scored 13, and Dekedran Thorn added 11.

UAPB didn’t protect the basketball, turning the ball over 19 times while forcing nine Alcorn State turnovers. Alcorn State took advantage, outscoring UAPB 26-9 off turnovers.

Bozeman said the Golden Lions are too casual with the ball, and their turnover rate has increased since the start of conference play.

“I don’t think it was anything they did,” Bozeman said. “I think it was all us tonight. We looked out of sync. Obviously, having Rashad out there as another ball handler could have played a part, but I don’t even think that played a part. I just think we were out of sync tonight.”

Alcorn State outscored the Golden Lions 38-24 in the paint.

Every time UAPB tried to build momentum, Alcorn State had an answer. Martin gave UAPB an early 3-2 lead, but the Braves responded with an 8-0 run. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Martin and Milton gave UAPB a 22-20 lead later in the first half, but Jalyke Gaines-Wyatt gave the Braves the lead back with back-to-back shots and an assist. UAPB never led in the second half.

Martin said UAPB needs to get back to work to end this losing skid.

“It’s crucial in conference play that you don’t try to stack losses,” Martin said. “The biggest thing is responding. It sucks that we lost this one tonight, but we don’t have time to sit around and be sad about it, because we have a quick turnaround.”


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