UAPB falls to No. 20 Michigan 63-50
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—After falling hopelessly behind in the first half against No. 20 Michigan, Arkansas-Pine Bluff caught a second wind.
For the road-weary Golden Lions, this was something they can build on.
Lazabian Jackson scored 23 points, and UAPB went on a 12-1 run at the end of its 63-50 loss to the Wolverines on Tuesday night. The Golden Lions never threatened to win, but they forced 19 turnovers and prevented the game from being a total rout.
"Michigan plays good defense, but I didn't expect our team to come out that cold. We couldn't make a shot, except for Lazabian," UAPB coach George Ivory said. "I was proud of the way we finished the game -- our kids didn't give up. We finally started hitting some shots and we were able to get some turnovers."
Michigan freshman Trey Burke scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. Evan Smotrycz added 16 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored eight.
Jackson made two 3-pointers to give the Golden Lions a 6-5 lead, but Michigan responded with a 19-0 run. A 3-pointer by Stu Douglass put the Wolverines ahead 32-8, and it was 37-17 at halftime.
UAPB made four 3-pointers in the first half but was 1 of 18 from inside the arc.
"Coach started reading the stats to us, and we just looked at each other. We knew it was bad, but those were some ugly numbers. I have no idea what happened -- we don't play like that," said UAPB's Savalace Townsend, who finished with 15 points. "All we wanted to do in the second half was make some kind of run and keep the game from getting completely ridiculous."
UAPB (1-6) doesn't have a home game scheduled this season until Jan. 14. That's not out of the ordinary for the Southwestern Athletic Conference school. A couple seasons ago -- at the end of a similar stretch away from home -- UAPB's athletic director estimated the school had earned about $800,000 by playing all those road games, about one-fourth of the athletic department's total revenue.
"I think it really brings our team together," Ivory said. "It's tough to do this, but it prepares us for the conference season."
The only anxious moment for Michigan (8-2) came late in the first half when Hardaway, the team's leading scorer, came down hard after jumping up on a shot fake. Hardaway stayed down on his stomach for a bit as the crowd became quiet, then he headed toward the sideline. He came back in the second half.
Michigan's Matt Vogrich, who was 1 of 13 from 3-point range entering the game, made three shots from long distance in the second half. He finished with 11 points.
"Coach keeps telling me to shoot my way out of it," Vogrich said. "That's what I'm going to do. I believe I can shoot -- just got to keep shooting."
UAPB had no balance to speak of on offense. Jackson showed impressive range, going 6 of 11 from 3-point territory, but at one point early in the second half, he had 17 of his team's 20 points.
He got more help after that, but it wasn't enough. Jackson had to be helped off the court with 11.7 seconds left after going down near midcourt with what looked like a leg cramp.
Burke had seven assists and six rebounds for Michigan, and Smotrycz contributed eight rebounds.