On this date 8 years ago, UALR's Rashad Jones-Jennings pulled down 30 rebounds

Thanks to College Hoopedia (www.collegehoopedia.com) for reminding us that on this date in 2005, Rashad Jones-Jennings pulled down 30 rebounds in a victory over UAPB. For a little bit of flashback Friday, here's the story I wrote that night. Enjoy.

UALR junior forward Rashad Jones-Jennings turned in the best rebounding performance since the Trojans joined NCAA Division I in a 72-54 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Jack Stephens Center before a crowd of 3,015 Tuesday. 

Jones-Jennings scored 23 points and had 30 rebounds, setting the school’s D-I record. UALR joined Division I in 1979. 

“I didn’t know. Coach [Steve Shields] just told me to keep rebounding the ball. I didn’t know how many I had,” said Jones-Jennings, who said his personal high was 25 at Chattanooga State. He had 10 offensive and 20 defensive rebounds Tuesday. “Last game, I had 14 and Coach pulled me to the side and told me I had four that came out of my hands. I took that into consideration because he was right.” 

No announcement was made in the arena, but the crowd seemed to perk up each time Jones-Jennings grabbed one of his 20 second-half rebounds. 

“What do you say? Unbelievable effort,” Shields said. “Like he’s done most every night but at another level tonight.” 

After his rebound average for the season dropped below 10 last week, Jones-Jennings said he thought he had been slacking off. Tuesday, he outrebounded UAPB by himself as the Golden Lions finished with 22.  Jones-Jennings now averages 12.6 rebounds, increasing his average by 2.6 Tuesday. 12.6 rebounds, increasing his average by 2.6 Tuesday. 

As a team, UALR has had less than 30 rebounds twice this season. And only two teammates (Lekheythan Malone with 38 and Zack Wright with 34) have more than 30 rebounds for the season. 

The UALR rebound record was set in the 1971-1972 season when Charlie Johnson grabbed 31 in a victory over Baptist Christian. But UALR was still an NAIA school at the time. 

The school’s Division I record had been set Jan. 23, 1988, when Jeff Cummings grabbed 22 against Mercer. Only Cummings and Muntrelle Dobbins had 20-rebound games since UALR joined Division I.  The NCAA Division I record of 51 was set in 1953 by William & Mary’s Bill Chambers. Since 1973, the highest total has been 35 by Fresno State’s Larry Abney in 2000. 

“I just assumed every shot was a miss and just went and got it,” Jones-Jennings said.  Jones-Jennings’ record-setting performance came in a game in which UALR started fast, then blew open a tie game with a late first-half spurt and a second-half run. 

Junior Byron Ray’s 17 points and freshman De’Andre Eggins’ 16 points were both career highs for UALR.  “Coach did a good job in the scouting report. He told us we could get the ball inside, and we did,” Jones-Jennings said. 

UAPB (3-3) was led by 17 points from Tamarius Brown and 11 from Jarvis Gunter.  “We got too far down and then we had to press,” UAPB Coach Van Holt said. “I thought the biggest difference in the game was the post play and the rebounding. They’re just too strong for us. The game was just too physical for us.” 

Playing without Wright, who was suspended for throwing a punch in Saturday’s game at Bowling Green, UALR didn’t handle intense UAPB pressure well, committing 18 turnovers. 

“In the second half, I thought our guards did an excellent job of getting the ball where it needed to go and showing great patience in getting it there,” Shields said. 

Jones-Jennings got his 15th rebound with 17:12 remaining in the second half and was fouled. He hit both free throws for a 36-27 lead. 

His 20th rebound came with 12:37 to play, grabbing a miss by Brown. His 25th rebound didn’t come until 5:22 remained, getting a missed layup by UAPB’s Martese Coleman as UALR led 62-43. 

He got 27, 28 and 29 on the offensive end and got No. 30 with 2:29 to play after a UAPB miss. 

UALR (5-3) controlled the first-half statistics, outrebounding UAPB 21-12 and forcing 13 turnovers. The Trojans raced to a 16-4 lead in the first half as Jones-Jennings scored eight early points, but as UAPB made adjustments, UALR struggled to do the same. 

A basket and free throw by Brown with 10:09 to play in the half cut the lead to 18-14. The Golden Lions then tied the game when Marcelle Goins drove across the lane and hit a jump shot for a 22-22 score with 5:11 to play in the half.