Despite committing 23 turnovers, Arkansas Pine Bluff played lockdown defense to beat Southern 74-59 Saturday in a rematch of last year’s SWAC Tournament championship game.
The Golden Lions forced 20 Southern turnovers, which they turned into 24 points, and held the Jaguars to 36.6% shooting as they were able to pick their fourth SWAC win of the season.
The Golden Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Southern put their first points on the board via a three-pointer from Aleighyah Fontenot at the 7:45 mark in the first quarter. A Cayley Obillo free throw tied the game at 8-all with 2:49 left in the frame. Pine Bluff finished the quarter on an 8-1 run to take a 16-9 lead as the game entered the second quarter.
Shooting a blistering 75% from the field, UAPB built on their lead in the second quarter, amassing as much as a 20-point advantage, taking a 40-22 lead into halftime.
UAPB once again put the clamps on the Jaguars, holding Southern to their third consecutive quarter of sub-38% shooting from the field. Southern got to the free throw line 14 times in the quarter, knocking down nine foul shots, but still found themselves in a 56-37 hole at the end of three quarters.
Southern could not make a push in the final ten minutes, never drawing closer than 13 points, as UAPB would be able to cruise to a relatively comfortable 74-59 victory.
Kalia Walker led the way for Pine Bluff, scoring 21 points on a perfect 5-5 from the floor, including connecting on her three-point attempts and 9 of her 10 free throws. Coriah Beck added 13 points and four rebounds, while Zaay Green chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
In a losing effort, Chloe Fleming led the Jaguars with 12 points; Aleighyah Fortenot was the only other Southern player in double figures with 11 points.