DAYTON, Ohio – Allen Smith scored 14 points and Tyree Glass added 10 as the Southwestern Athletic Conference Champion University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff defeated Winthrop 61-44 in the 2010 NCAA Tournament Opening Round Game. The Golden Lions advance to play Duke Friday in Jacksonville, Florida.
The win by the Golden Lions was the first by a SWAC team in the NCAA Basketball Tournament since Southern, led by head coach Ben Jobe, defeated Georgia Tech 93-78 in 1993. It also comes on the 30-year anniversary of the first SWAC win in the NCAA Tournament as 2010 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Head Coach Davey Whitney led Alcorn State to an 80-62 win over South Alabama in 1980.
Add UAPB head coach George Ivory to the list of SWAC coaches with NCAA Tournament victories as the Golden Lions got a win in their first NCAA game. Leading 24-23 at halftime, UAPB shot 52.6 percent in the second half in outscoring Winthrop 37-21 in the final 20 minutes.
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff held its third straight opponent under 46 points. Winthrop scored just 21 points in the second half on nine-of-29 shooting after halftime.
Tavaris Washington scored eight points with a game-high 13 rebounds and five assists for the Golden Lions, who improved to 18-15 on the year, their first overall winning season since joining the SWAC in 1997-98.
Now the Golden Lions advance to play Duke, a familiar opponent to SWAC teams in the NCAA Tournament. This will be the fifth time a Conference team has played the Blue Devils in the NCAAs and third since 2004 (Alabama State in ’04, Southern in ’06).
The first time the SWAC went head-to-head with Duke in the NCAA Tournament was in 1986 when Ivory led his Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils to the NCAA Tournament. Ivory scored 14 points in the 85-78 loss. Friday Ivory again faces the Dukies, this time as head coach.
SWAC wins in the NCAA Tournament
1980 Alcorn St. defeated South Alabama 80-62
1983 Alcorn St. defeated Xavier 81-75
1984 Alcorn St. defeated Houston Baptist 79-60
1993 Southern defeated Georgia Tech 93-78
2010 Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff defeated Winthrop 61-44