Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
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Mingoes drop opening game at Orlando tournament

UB Mingoes forward Antwan Bevan drives to the basket against Johnson University’s defense at the J.U. Invitation Basketball Classic on Thursday night in Kissimmee, Florida. Bevans had 11 points in the Mingoes’ 81-78 loss. UB ATHLETICS

KISSIMMEE, Florida – Despite four players with double digits, the Mingoes could not close out against the Johnson University Suns at the J.U. Invitation Basketball Classic on Thursday night. The Mingoes lost 81-78.

Justin Smith led the team with 12 points, while Antwan Bevans, Rashaad Sturrup and Christoph McKenzie each had 11 points in the loss. Sturrup also had a double-double with 10 rebounds.

The Mingoes and Suns traded the lead 10 times in the game and Johnson led by as much as eight points (67-59, 8:43 in second half). The Mingoes were able to close the lead a few times, and with 1.8 seconds to go trailed by three points. After the Suns made a free-throw, the Mingoes tried to pass the ball into their front court for a chance for a final three-point shot but they were not successful.

“We tried to run a play to get the ball to Smith but they did a good job on defense to stop us,” said assistant coach Lavar Johnson. “We could also have executed a little bit better as well.”

Coach Johnson found positives in the team’s performance though.

“I loved that the guys showed us that they can stick together and showed [a] lot of energy despite us being shorthanded,” he said.

The Suns capitalized on fast breaks and scored almost twice as many points off turnovers – 15 points to the Mingoes’ seven.

The Mingoes played Pensacola Christian Friday afternoon and will close out the tournament against Grace Christian University at 4 p.m. this afternoon.

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