PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Prairie View A&M men’s basketball pushed its winning streak to five after a 69-61 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff during Southwestern Athletic Conference action Saturday evening at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
Prairie View A&M was forced to play catchup early, falling behind 10-4. Though the Panthers remained in striking distance for much of the first half, UAPB posted a 7-4 run in the final moments of the period to send the Panthers into the lockers down 34-28.
“We got a little rattled, but we stayed patient,” PVAMU Head Basketball Coach Byron Smith said. “Even though Arkansas-Pine Bluff hasn’t really had a successful season … every team that we play, we will get their best shot. We just made plays down the stretch, and sometimes you have to win ugly. That’s what happened tonight.”
The Panthers ultimately trailed by as many as 11 with 12:11 remaining, but senior Gerard Andrus converted a lay-up to spark the Panthers’ comeback. Senior Devonte Patterson took over from there, scoring seven straight points as part of an 11-1 run that pulled Prairie View A&M within one with 6:53 left.
After a pair of UAPB free throws, senior Antione Lister buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 54, and senior Chancellor Ellis followed suit to give the Panthers a 57-54 lead with 5:12 remaining.
From there, the Panthers (15-11, 11-2 SWAC) used clutch foul-line shooting to fend off the Golden Lions, going 16-of-21 from the charity stripe on their way to the win.
“(UAPB’s) length is always a problem,” Smith said. “This year is no different. But getting their guys into foul trouble definitely helped us. It allowed us to finish around the rim a bit more.”
Prairie View A&M outscored UAPB 41-27 in the second half, limiting the Golden Lions to a 28.6 percent shooting clip during the final 20 minutes.
We stayed poised, and we had some momentum coming out for the second half
Patterson led the Panthers with 25 points and nine rebounds, scoring 16 points in the second half. Lister added 15 points and six rebounds, and Andrus scored 11 points.
“Devonte was a monster for us tonight, and Chance (Ellis) hit some big shots for us too,” Smith said. “Antione was huge for us, especially in the first half. He’s a quality kid that’s always prepared, and that’s what we expect of him. He’s very confident in his preparation, he works hard and his defense is getting better every day. Without him, it could have gotten a little bit ugly for us.”
The Panthers outscored UAPB 26-16 in the paint, and shot 22-of-54 from the field, good for a 40.7 percent mark.
Markedric Bell paced UAPB with 14 points.
Courtesy: PVAMU Athletics