PINE BLUFF, AR – Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s basketball team demonstrated the meaning of unity well with a victory over Bethune Cookman with a final score of 69-63 on Monday night at H.O. Clemmons Arena.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-15, 2-4) had three players score in double figures, led by Dequan Morris, who had 20 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Brandon Brown added 15 points and six assists from the bench, and Brahm Harris helped with 12 points and six rebounds.

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After their heartbreaking loss against Florida A&M on Saturday, the Golden Lions went to the drawing board to find what they could do better. “We broke down the last four minutes of the FAMU game,” said UAPB head coach Solomon Bozeman. “I thought our guys responded well to the film session.”

The Golden Lions came out with a tremendous amount of energy against Bethune Cookman, with Morris getting things started with a quick teardrop layup and a pull-up jump shot from inside the paint.

When Brown checked in the game, things became more complex for Bethune Cookman. On transition, Brown would do what he does best and go coast-to-coast, muscling his way into the paint for a nice and easy layup which would turn into his go-to.

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Not only was Brown putting the ball in the bucket, but he also did an outstanding job of getting his team involved, showing his complete skill set. After grabbing a rebound and going the other way, Omar Parchman ran with Brown and eventually got ahead to fill in the lane and would be rewarded with a no-look pass and a finish at the rim.

With significant momentum going, Brown decided to get shifty and flashy. Catching an outlet pass from Brahm Harris, Brown was harassed by two maroon jerseys and solved the issue with an in-and-out behind-the-back combo, finding Harris on the right-wing for a three-pointer, causing H.O. Clemmons Arena to get loud.

Bethune Cookman attempted to fight back, cutting their 13-point deficit to nine points. However, the more BCU tried to fight back, the more aggressive Morris got on offense, showing his ability to finish at the rim and pull up to knock down short jumpers.

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With ten points, Morris finished the first half, knocking down 80 percent of his first-half shots to maintain a 34-21 lead over Bethune Cookman.

The roar continued in the second half instantly with a Harris three-pointer to keep the energy flowing and caught the hot hand to keep the Golden Lion lead throughout the half.

It seemed as if Morris and Brown became tag team partners the way they took turns scoring the basketball. Two Brown pull-up jumpers would be good to help continue to expand the Golden Lion lead along with a Morris turnaround jumper, a set of free throws, and a stop-and-pop.

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Bozeman knew he had the win in the bag, but what sealed the victory was Brown knocking down a three-point shot, beating the shot clock to secure a 69-63 victory over Bethune Cookman.

“Brandon is just confident, which is why we trust him to have the ball in his hands and make big-time plays,” said Bozeman about the Brown three-pointer to seal the win.

The Golden Lions will return to action on the road Saturday against Southern University. The contest is scheduled to tip-off at 5 p.m.

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