Visiting Wingate Tops Braves In Overtime
PEMBROKE – UNCP used a tip-in by Nathan Priest with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie the game for the seventh time, but Wingate capitalized on five turnovers by the Braves in overtime to steal a 69-65 victory from the Black & Gold on Tuesday evening in the English E. Jones Center.
George Blakeney scored a team-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor to register the only double-digit scoring night for the Braves (2-3) who shot just 39.1 percent on the night, including a 2-for-6 clip in the extra period. Marcus Heath tallied nine points and five assists for the Braves as well.
Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference selection Jaime Vaughn booked a game-best 22 points in his first action of the season to lead Wingate (2-4) who also got a dozen points from Ethan Kincaid and 10 more from Paidrick Matilus. The Bulldogs matched a season-best with 45.8 percent shooting from the field – a number they previously attained in their only other win of the season against Virginia Union.
"It was a really good college basketball game," said UNCP head coach Ben Miller. "They won in a couple of key statistics, with one being the rebound battle again. I feel like a broken record saying that. That is something that we need to continue to work on and get better in. When people prepare to play us, they spend a good bit of time on rebounding. It is going to be tougher for us to out-rebound teams this year."
The Braves committed nearly half (5) of their total turnovers on the night in overtime and Wingate took full advantage of them by connecting on two of its three shots from the field and canning five of six attempts from the free throw line. Down 67-65 with less than 20 seconds left, UNCP committed its fifth and final turnover on a traveling violation in the paint.
UNCP scored seven of the first nine points in the second half to grab its second lead of the contest, but Wingate responded with a 9-2 run over the next 2:46 and grabbed a 45-40 lead with 14:24 left on a lay-in by Vaughn. Despite falling down by as much as seven points, 53-46, with just less than eight minutes left, the Braves would chip away at their deficit before a running jumper by K.J. Cooper at the 2:39 mark gave the game its seventh lead change.
Matilus would put the Bulldogs back up by a pair on a short jumper with 42 ticks left, but Priest followed a 3-point attempt by Heath, collected the rebound and calmly laid the ball back in.
UNCP will be back in action again on Saturday when the Braves continue a five-game home stand by taking on Allen (3-7) in the English E. Jones Center. Tip off has been set for 7 p.m.
To watch the full game click on PART 1 and PART 2.