Lander Avenges Early Season Loss To UNCP
GREENWOOD, S.C. – UNCP senior forward Brandon Thomas recorded his second double-double of the season and freshman guard Shahmel Brackett posted the third 20-point game of his career against Lander on Wednesday night at Horne Arena, but the Braves couldn't overcome 17 turnovers on offense as the Bearcats earned a 69-51 victory.
The win snapped a five-game losing skid for the Bearcats, who also picked up their first Peach Belt Conference victory of the season. UNCP falls to 5-9 with the loss with a 1-4 mark in league play. Lander improves to 6-8 overall while also improving to 1-5 in the PBC.
Four Lander players scored in double figures with Tovi Bailey posting a team-high 14 points. Greg Smalls recorded 12 points with Antonio Pope and Dane Sparrow chipping in 10 points apiece. Bailey also dished out a game-high five assists in 34 minutes of action.
The Bearcats evened the season series with the Braves, who earned a 78-68 victory in Pembroke in December.
After starting the game on an 8-0 run, the Bearcats kept the Braves at arm's length the rest of the contest. UNCP was able to pull within a point of Lander twice in the first half, but the Bearcats closed the stanza on a 9-2 run to take a 36-25 lead into halftime.
The Braves were never able to get within single digits of Lander in the second half, trailing by as many as 21 points in the frame. The Bearcats would eventually win by 18, converting 23 points off of 17 Pembroke turnovers.
UNCP will host conference foe Columbus State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the English E. Jones Center as part of a doubleheader with the Lady Braves and Lady Cougars. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $2 for children 18 years of age and younger. UNCP students are admitted free with a valid Braves Card.