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Men’s basketball wins close game

By Dan Kelly
Sports Editor              

The UNCP men’s basketball team won an extremely tight game against Georgia Southwestern 51-48 in the second homecoming game on Feb. 3.            

The Braves improved their overall record to 6-16 and 5-6 in the Peach Belt Conference while the Hurricanes fell to 10-10 and 3-7 in conference play.

Close finish

The final 1:04 of the game provided a great deal of drama as both teams frantically scrapped to win.            

“We found a way to win at the end and that is what’s important,” said Jason Tinsley, the UNCP men’s basketball head coach.

UNCP player Cortez Brown made two free throws at 1:04 to go to give the Braves a 49-41 lead.            

In the next 35 seconds, though, Hurricane player Ric Roderick made two three-point shots to close the gap to 49-47.

The Braves Melvin Mackey created some breathing room by making two free throws with 28 seconds left to extend the lead to four points.

Last Chance            

The Hurricanes then missed an opportunity to score when their forward Adrian Robinson grabbed the rim on a teammate’s shot. 

The Braves then turned the ball over themselves following the gift from the Hurricanes.            

Adrian Robinson  then grabbed an offensive rebound and got to the free throw line off a missed lay up.

Clinching play

After making the first free throw, Robinson missed the second one but the Braves’ Hart came up with the rebound that gave UNCP a three-point victory.            

Tinsley said that the team wasn’t happy at how they finished the game but was proud of the victory nonetheless.

The first half saw the Braves shoot well from the field at 46 percent but the offensive rebounding by the Hurricanes kept the margin to just three points at halftime.

Defensive keys            

The Braves were able to stick to their defensive plan of neutralizing GSW players Shawn King and Norbey Aragon to nine and seven points respectively.

Tinsley did show admiration to the opposing Robinson who had 19 points and 17 rebounds.            

UNCP forward Jonathan Hart led the way for the Braves with 19 points and six rebounds.

Hart does need to be more of a presence for the Braves, Tinsley said.            

“We beat on him every day with the pads and push him around so he can toughen up. He’s got to stop taking those finesse shots,” Tinsley said.

Overall, Tinsley was proud with the effort that the team displayed in the game despite suffering from numerous injuries.             “We are the walking wounded. We are the walking sick. We’ve got to do something about that,” Tinsley said.

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Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2007
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