Courtesy: Nelson Chenault Junior Rashad Jones-Jennings Collected 30 Rebounds In The Trojans' 72-54 Win Over UAPB.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Junior Rashad Jones-Jennings single-handedly led the Arkansas-Little Rock men’s basketball team past Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday with a 23-point, 30-rebound double-double. The Trojans (5-3) rolled to a 72-54 win behind his 30-rebound effort, which was more than the entire Golden Lion team finished with (22) and established new UALR Division-I and Sun Belt Conference records.
“What do you say? It was an unbelievable effort,” said UALR head coach Steve Shields. “It was like he’s done almost every night, but at another level. We always talk about assuming every shot is a miss and he certainly did that tonight.”
Jones-Jennings reached his fourth double-double of the year by halftime, helping the Trojans take a 29-25 lead with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Chattanooga, Tenn.-native, then led the Trojans on a 16-5 run out of the break (scoring eight points during the run) to put UALR ahead for good and improve the team’s record to 5-0 at the JackStephensCenter.
His 30-rebound performance fell one shy of the all-time school record of 31, set by Charlie Johnson against Baptist Christian during the 1971-72 season – back when UALR competed in the NAIA. The previous Sun Belt Conference record was for rebounds in a game was 27, and was shared by Ervin Johnson and Willie Fisher.
“I just assumed every shot was a miss and went and got it,” said Jones-Jennings. “I tried to do what I do best, which is rebound.”
UALR jumped out to a 16-4 lead out of the gate, but watched as the Golden Lions (3-3) crept back into the game behind the shooting of Tamarius Brown. The senior guard, tallied 11 points in the half and helped the squad tie the game at 22-all after a bucket by Marcelle Goins with on the clock.
Junior Byron Ray kept the Trojan offense afloat in the first half by scoring a career-high nine points over the first 20 minutes. The Scobey, Miss.-native finished with a career-best 17 points and five rebounds.
Senior Elijah Muldrow sank a jumper at the start of the second half to spark a 16-5 Trojan run, with eight points from Jones-Jennings, which put UALR ahead 45-30 with remaining. The Golden Lions never threatened again, as the Trojans led by as many as 22 points, 60-38, with to play.
Freshman De’Andre Eggins also enjoyed a career-high scoring night, finishing with 16 points in his second career start. Freshman Buddy Harding played a career-high 40 minutes for the Trojans and dished out a career-best six assists.
The Trojans collected 50 rebounds on the night, while holding UAPB to 22 boards – and just nine in the second half. UALR’s glass work helped the team overcome 18 turnovers, 11 of which came over the first 20 minutes.
“I thought the only negative tonight was our lackluster handling of the basketball for awhile,” said Shields. “A lot of that can be attributed to youth. It’s a growing process and you have to give credit to Pine Bluff. They applied a lot of pressure.”
Brown finished with a team-high 17 points in the losing effort, while Jarvis Gunter added 11 points and three blocks.
The Trojans return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 20 when they welcome Appalachian State to the JackStephensCenter at