ELKINS, W. Va. – A late defensive stop and solid free-throw shooting lifted the Urbana University men’s basketball team past Davis & Elkins, 76-74, Saturday afternoon in non-conference play.
The Blue Knights improved to 3-5 on the season and snapped a four-game slide with the win. All three of UU’s wins have been against non-league foes. Davis & Elkins dropped to 3-8 overall.
Freshman guard DeQuan Abrom led the Blue Knights with a career-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Abrom hit big shots down the stretch and scored 17 in the second half to reach double figures for the fifth consecutive game. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Junior wing Dalton Payton and freshman guard Ethan Snapp also registered career highs. Payton, who returned to action after missing four games with an injury, poured in 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Snapp scored 15 for the second straight outing with three treys, five boards, three assists and two steals.
As a team, UU shot an 48 percent overall and 43 percent from three-point range with 10 made 3-pointers.
Despite losing the rebound battle, UU caused 20 turnovers and limited the Senators’ leading scorer Kevin Bracy-Davis (22 ppg) to only 12 points.
UU limited D&E to 41-percent shooting and the Blue Knights turned the ball over only five times in the second half.
UU built its largest lead at 26-20 with 6:02 left in the first period; however, the Senators responded by ending the half on a 13-2 run to claim a 33-28 lead at the break.
The Blue Knights came out of the locker room with a quick 8-0 run to reclaim the lead, 36-33, and from there, it was back-and-forth action the rest of the way.
Back-to-back buckets from Jimmy Weinke and Snapp near the eight-minute mark gave UU a 55-51 lead and some momentum, but D&E countered with a trey.
On the next possession, Abrom made the first free-throw attempts of the game for UU to keep the see-saw battle alive, making it 57-54 with 6:56 to go.
The Senators kept responding and eventually went ahead 66-63 with 3:05 on the clock.
Then, Snapp hit a jumper and Abrom drilled his third 3-pointer to put UU ahead for good, making the score 68-66 with 1:49 showing on the clock.
UU finished the game 8 for 10 at the free-throw line down the stretch.
UU will return to action Monday night for an exhibition matchup at IUPUI scheduled to air on ESPN3. Tipoff in Indianapolis is set for 7 p.m.