STILLWATER — Arkansas-Pine Bluff opened its season with victories over Division II opponents Tuskegee and Morehouse College. The competition was a little bit stronger on Friday night.
The Lions hung around longer than many fans expected, eventually falling to No. 8 Oklahoma State 97-63.
Ghiavonni Robinson 3-pointer from the left wing got the Lions within 12 three minutes into the second half. But the Cowboys later turned up the energy, going on a 32-4 run.
Coach George Ivory had an extended visit with his Lions after the game.
Phil Forte scored 22 points for the Cowboys, who now play No. 13 Memphis.
“This is something where we come out with the schedule and this is the game that everybody sees, us included,” Forte said. “Arkansas-Pine Bluff was a game that we had to get past before it, and now that Memphis is next, all of our attention and focus goes to them.”
Tevin Hammond scored 15 points to lead Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-1). DeAndre McIntyre and Davon Haynes each finished with 13.
Oklahoma State took 41 foul shots to just 12 for the visitors in chippy game that saw a pair of technical fouls handed out late in the first half.
The two teams did some pushing and shoving when the Cowboys’ Marcus Smart and Daniel Broughton tangled going for a loose ball. After watching a video replay, the officials called fouls on Broughton and Smart and gave technical fouls to Markel Brown and the Lions’ Jaylon Floyd.
Brown scored 22 points and Smart added 16 for the Cowboys (3-0).
Forte shot 6-for-7 from 3-point range and Oklahoma State made 10 of 25 from behind the arc.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff took a 12-11 lead when Hammond made a long 3-pointer seven minutes in. After the Cowboys scored 10 straight in taking a 24-14 lead, 3s by Hammond and McIntyre brought the Lions within 25-22.
Oklahoma State led 46-30 at halftime. Brown shot 6-for-8 before the break and made three 3s.
The Lions trailed by 12 early in the second half before Forte’s shooting and Oklahoma State’s defense broke it open.
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