SWAC MBB Quarterfinals: UAPB holds off MVSU
#1 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 77, #8 Mississippi Valley State 73
PINE BLUFF, ARK. – Quamari Hardy completed an ole-fashioned 3-point play with 2:32 remaining to give the top-seeded Golden Lions the lead for good and Travon Harper scored his team’s last four points as UAPB outscored the Delta Devils 10-6 down the stretch to outlast a pesky upset bid visiting Mississippi Valley State at the H.O. Clemmons Arena on Tuesday night.
It appeared the UAPB (13-20) may begin to pull away as it took a 10-point advantage on a Trent Steen dunk with 14:39 left, but Mississippi Valley State (4-28) kept battling and battled all the way back to tie it at 61 on a 3-pointer by Jordan Evans with 8:29 remaining. Emmanuel Ejeh temporarily gave Valley the lead 63-61 with 7:36 left.
But four Golden Lions scored in double figures including SWAC Player of the Year Martaveous McKnight, who finished with 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. UAPB also benefitted from 27 points that came off turnovers.
Hardy came off the bench and provided quality minutes by knocking down 5-of-9 from the field including 3-of-5 from 3-point range to close with 16 points. Steen, who was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, had 14 points with a pair of steals and blocks. Harper had 11 points, three blocks and two steals.
Evans led the Delta Devils with 20 points, Dante Scott added 14 points and Ejeh added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff advances to play #4 Southern in the semifinals at Delmar Fieldhouse in Houston on Friday at 2:30 p.m.