The UNCP men’s basketball team continued their impressive postseason dominance in the semifinals of the PBC Tournament.
The Braves defeated a familiar foe in Marrow, Ga. on March 3 at the Loch. They took down the Patriots of Francis Marion University by nearly 20 points 94-75. The Braves had redemption and revenge on their minds as their regular season series split with the Patriots, ultimately cost them sole possession of the conference title down the stretch.
With the victory, the Black and Gold improved their overall record 25-5 and secured their spot in the championship game for the second straight postseason. It also marked the team’s fourth consecutive triumph and the fifth-straight win in postseason play.
It was a tightly contested first half, the two teams tied up the score five times in the first eight minutes of the contest. The Braves went go on a 12-2 run and established their first sizable lead of the day. UNCP went into halftime with a 37-32 advantage.
While still in a tightly contested match, the Black and Gold went on a 17-2 offensive explosion near the 16-minute mark. The Braves were up 62-44 with 12 minutes left to play.
The team improved their shooting percentage from the field to 60 percent, going 4-8 from the perimeter and 17-22 from the free throw line. Sophomore Akia Pruitt and freshman Tyrell Kirk led in scoring.
The two underclassmen had impressive outings by putting up a combined 39 points (Pruitt 20, Kirk 19). Redshirt senior Nigel Grant came in third in scoring with 16 points, junior James Murray-Boyles followed up with 14 points and senior Brandon Watts fell just one point shy of notching a double-double with his team leading 11 rebounds.
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