PINE BLUFF, AR – In a highly intense SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) showdown, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s basketball team dropped an overtime nailbiter to the Florida A&M Rattlers with a final score of 71-66 on Saturday at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-15, 1-4) had four players score in double figures, led by Brandon Brown, who had 17 points, eight rebounds, and two steals. Brahm Harris added 14 points, and K’Shun Stokes helped with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Golden Lions got off to a great start against the Rattlers, showing an incredible amount of discipline offensively and defensively.
In his SWAC debut and first game back, Brown instantly established his dominance on the court with two back-to-back layups against taller defenders to demonstrate that he has the heart over the height. On transition, Brown went coast-to-coast before two Florida A&M defenders would try to harass him, but Brown reached into his bag of tricks and split both defenders with a behind-the-back dribble, with an up-and-under finish at the rim to give UAPB a six-point lead.
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The Rattlers would try to find their every way to contain Brown, but UAPB head coach Solomon Bozeman had a trick up his sleeve that he decided to unleash against FAMU. Gabriel Vargas did a fantastic job on playing the point guard position and running the offense, but his fancy dribbling and flashy passing skills had the Florida A&M defense scrambling. Vargas would find Harris wide open in the corner for a Golden Lion three-pointer to give Arkansas-Pine Bluff a ten-point lead over FAMU.
The Rattlers then scored ten straight points, allowing the Golden Lions to go into halftime with a one-point lead, 28-27.
The Golden Lions went on a 5-2 run to start the second half, gaining a slight five-point lead over the Rattlers. However, the Golden Lions knew it was time to roar and have the Golden Lion fans roar right behind them. Brown would steal the basketball for a fastbreak and tossed the ball for Stokes to skyrocket in the air, throwing down the two-handed alley-oop jam. The next play later, Brown would grab a defensive rebound to go the other way for an outlet pass to Harris for bucket along the perimeter, regaining their ten-point lead over FAMU.
Florida A&M then caught fire, cutting the deficit to two, then hit a layup to send things to overtime.
The Golden Lions would miss seven of their eight attempts at the free-throw line in overtime, causing Florida A&M to the lead and the win with a final score of 71-66.
Courtesy: UAPB Athletics