Mountaineers Top Braves In Exhibition Play, 87-53
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Head coach Ben Miller got his UNCP men's basketball squad on the court for the first time this season with an exhibition matchup against West Virginia, but the Division I school would not fall to an upset in defeating the Braves by an 87-53 final at the WVU Coliseum on Friday evening.
UNCP was led on offense by reigning Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Shahmel Brackett, who notched 10 points on 4-8 shooting from the field. The sophomore also added a rebound and an assist in 27 minutes on the floor.
Juniors Marcus Heath and Nate Priest chipped in nine and eight points, respectively for UNCP, both matching Brackett's 4-8 shooting from the floor. Priest added a team-high seven rebounds along with two blocks and one steal, while Heath was 1-2 from long range and added three assists, tying for the team lead in the latter category with fellow junior Cody Hughes.
Jonnie West led the Mountaineers attack with 15 points on 5-10 shooting from the floor, including a staggering 5-8 from three-point land. Kevin Jones registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the team that lost to eventual national champion Duke in last year's NCAA national semifinal.
The Braves shot 34% from the field (18-53) against one of the better defenses in the Big East while the defense held a potent West Virginia offense to just 41.1% (30-73) from the field.
UNCP will continue their exhibition road trip with a matchup against another NCAA Division I foe in Winthrop. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C.