The UAPB Lady Lions entered the 2023 SWAC Basketball Tournament as a 7 seed against the 2 seed Alabama A&M, and found a way to knock off one of the top seeded teams in the tournament 62-55 at Bartow Arena on the campus of Alabama-Birmingham.

Before the game head coach Dawn Thornton said she felt like her team was where they needed to be as they entered the tournament.

“I think we’re exactly where we need to be (mentally),” UAPB head coach Dawn Brown-Thornton said after workouts. “We talked over the last 48 hours and I told them that it’s a new season and everybody’s record is zero-to-zero. We’re excited to be able to start the tournament off against a good team like Alabama A&M, but I also reminded our ladies that we got a chance to do something really special here at UAPB, so let’s set the tone.”

Following the game Thornton said her team was locked in.

Thornton said her staff brought the players into a “war room” on Tuesday night where the players wrote down words they wanted to take with them into the tournament. She said she saw what her players wrote down on the court in the win over Alabama A&M.

Thornton also said the fruit of her teams labor paid off when they needed it the most.

No members of the Lady Lions were selected for post season accolades, but Thornton said that was the fuel to the fire that they needed.

The Lady Lions will return to action on Friday at 11 a.m. against the winner of Alabama State and Bethune-Cookman. That game and all UAPB games can be heard on 99.3 The Beat.