Mingoes drop opening game at Orlando tournament
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.