UB Mingoes dominate Shockers to stay undefeated in NPBA action

The UB Mingoes never let the JD’s Seafood Shockers in their game on Saturday night at the A.F. Adderley gym.

Kemsy Sylvestre won the opening tip and within 10 seconds Christoph McKenzie scored off a layup. It was all Mingoes from there as the Shockers never held the lead in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) Division 1 matchup.

Behind four Mingoes in double figures, UB led by as much as 22 points en route to the 84-78 win.

Sylvestre led the Mingoes with 19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Tim Grant came off the bench to score 17 and pull down nine rebounds. Christoph McKenzie and Robert Joseph each scored 16.

“We wanted to just execute what we practiced and we did that,” said Grant, who had his first double-digit game of the season. “It feels good to be undefeated in the league.”

The Mingoes remain undefeated at 5-0 in Division 1 play and lead their division. The only other undefeated team is the Commonwealth Bank Giants in the next division at 3-0. The Shockers dropped to 3-3 on the season.

McKenzie said the team came into the matchup with a simple strategy. “Our game plan was to push the ball and get the ball into the big men and open up the shooters afterwards,” he said. “We did that pretty well especially early in the game.”

The Mingoes led by 22 points twice in the game. The first time was with about 54 seconds to go in the third quarter after Sylvestre hit two free-throws to go up 68-46. And then off a deep floating jumper, McKenzie put the squad up 72-50.

The Shockers though started a run late in the fourth quarter that gave the Mingoes a scare. However, the closest the Shockers got, outside of the opening quarter, was the final score.

“We really lost our composure,” said Joseph, who had five assists. “Guys got out of hand and they got some quick buckets. We have to just learn to hold our composure at the end of the game.”

McKenzie agreed. “We made simple mistakes and allowed them to get points off turnovers,” he said. “We shouldn’t have let [that] happen.”

The Mingoes next play in NPBA action at 9 p.m. Friday against the Giants in the battle of the league’s undefeated teams and then play another international two-game set later in December.

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