Bain, Colonials head to NCAA Tourney

Bahamian collegiate basketball player Charles Bain and the Robert Morris University Colonials punched their ticket to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, defeating the St. Francis University (SFU) Red Flash 77-67 to win the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship on Tuesday night. The game was played at the UPMC Events Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

With that win, the Colonials sport a win-loss record of 20-14 (13-5 NEC) on the season.

Bain scored seven points and had four rebounds in 25 minutes of play. The forward also finished with two dimes.

The Grand Bahamian converted on two of his eight shots from the field, and finished the game with one made three pointer.

After the Red Flash led 2-0 early in the first half, the Colonials quickly took the lead and never looked back.

Leading the way for the Colonials was Dante Treacy with 18 points. Josh Williams had 17 points. Rounding out the double figure scoring for the Colonials with 12 points apiece were AJ Bramah and Yannis Mendy.

Defensively, the Colonials held the Red Flash 17.6 percent shooting from three-point territory.

The Colonials head into the NCAA tournament, known as March Madness, on a four-game winning streak. This will be their ninth NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2015 – the last time they won the NEC tournament championship.

After the game, Colonials Head Coach Andrew Toole praised his team for coming away with the win.

“I’m so happy for them that they were able to achieve this goal of winning the NEC Tournament and getting to go to the NCAA Tournament,” Toole said. “…one of the toughest teams I’ve ever coached mentally. Guys are locked in each and every day, and as the season went, they raised their level each and every time they were challenged. It’s as competitive a group from top to bottom that we’ve coached. I’m just so happy for these guys. Holding [SFU] under 70 points is a tough, tough task, and these guys rose to the challenge.”

Bain is averaging 6.4 points per game this season. He has pulled down an average of 3.7 rebounds per game and has one assist per game.

He scored a season-high 17 points and had six rebounds against the Red Flash last month. The junior will be looking forward to his first-ever NCAA appearance and will look to help get the Colonials out of the first round for the first time.

The NCAA tournament selection show is set for Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m. on CBS.

Kai Jones and the University of Texas Longhorns (19-12) will look to get a win when they open play in the Big-12 Conference Tournament against the Texas Tech Red Raiders today at 11:30 a.m. in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jones had a career night against the Oklahoma State Cowboys this past Saturday when he dropped season-highs of 20 points, eight made field-goals and two made three-pointers.

The Longhorns fell, 81-59.

The 6’11” forward is averaging 3.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. The freshman is playing an average 17.7 minutes per contest.

On the women’s side, Lashann Higgs and the Longhorns will start their play in the Big-12 Conference Tournament when they take on the West Virginia University Mountaineers tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri.

They are the third-ranked team in the conference and have a 19-11 win-loss record on the season including 11-7 in conference play.

Higgs, a senior, got her Senior Day recognition on Sunday when they defeated the Oklahoma State Cowgirls 63-52. She scored two points in 17 minutes of play.

The starting point guard is averaging 9.3 points per game in 20.9 minutes per contest on the season. She is shooting 46.3 percent from the field and is averaging 3.5 rebounds per game.

Higgs and the Longhorns will be looking to return to the NCAA tournament for a sixth straight year.

Bahamians Franco Miller Jr. and Sammy Hunter opened their Southeastern (SEC) Conference Tournament for the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels against the University of Georgia Bulldogs last night. Going into that game, the Rebels had won their last three games against the Bulldogs and were 15-16 on the season.

Hunter, a freshman, is averaging 2.9 points and 1.3 boards per game, playing an average of 12.2 minutes per game.

Miller, a redshirt freshman who missed his first season due to injury, has been having a tough time getting back into game rhythm and finding his shot.

In the Southland Conference Tournament, Nathan Bain and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (28-3, 19-1 Southland) will kick off the semi-finals tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Katy, Texas. Their opponent was unknown up to press time.

The Lumberjacks closed off the regular season on a 15-game win streak.

Nathan Bain, a senior, got a send-off on Senior Night when his team won 68-57 against the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Sunday. He scored two points and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

The forward is averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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