Golden Lions prepare for pair of road games






Thanksgiving week will feature two road games up north for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s basketball team, starting with UAPB’s second game this season against a Power Five opponent. The Golden Lions will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on the Big Ten Network. UAPB will then travel to Ball State for a 2 p.m. tip Friday at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind., on ESPN+. UAPB (3-2) is looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 100-81 loss to Incarnate Word, which broke a three-game winning streak. Minnesota (3-1) is coming off a 67-53 home win Saturday against South Carolina-Upstate. The Golden Gophers lost 70-68 to Missouri at home two days earlier. Missouri defeated UAPB 101-79 in both teams’ season opener. Ball State (3-1) hosts USC-Upstate on Tuesday ahead of its Friday matchup against UAPB. The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season Saturday at Evansville, 74-50. The Golden Lions will be confident in their scoring ability, even against a Big Ten opponent. UAPB shot 40.4% from the field against Missouri and made eight 3-pointers. Junior guard Kylen Milton scored 34 points against the Tigers, and graduate transfer guard Joe French scored 30. Milton continues to lead the team, averaging 23.8 points per game. The challenge for UAPB will be defense. Opponents are averaging 85 points per game against the Golden Lions, and two have reached 100. “This team has to continue to get tougher,” head coach Solomon Bozeman said. “We not gonna see the progress we want to see until we become the tougher team.” Minnesota is averaging 79.3 points per game and scored 102 in a win against UTSA. Junior forward Dawson Garcia leads the Golden Gophers, averaging 18.8 points and nine rebounds per game. Junior forward Isaiah Ihnen averages 10.3 points per game and junior guard Elijah Hawkins averages 8.8 points and five assists per game. Ball State is averaging 79 points per game, though 73 is the Cardinals’ highest output against a Division I foe. Junior forward Basheer Jihad is averaging 16.5 points per game, while junior guard Jalin Anderson is averaging 15.8.