Urbana University men’s basketball cruised by visiting West Virginia State for its 10th win on Saturday, 96-77. The victory signals the first 10-win season for head coach Rob Summers, and first for the Blue Knights since the 2012 campaign.
UU improved to 10-12 overall and 5-11 in conference play, while picking up the program’s first-win ever against WVSU. The Yellow Jackets dropped to 6-16 (3-13 MEC).
The Blue Knights shot the ball well at a 53-percent clip and took advantage of their opportunities at the free-throw line by going 27 of 36 (75 percent). UU also out-rebounded WVSU and forced 19 turnovers, which translated to 29 points for the Knights.
DeQuan Abrom and Carlas Jackson led the way for UU with 24 and 20 points, respectively. Jackson drilled four 3-pointers on six attempts and moved into 21st place on UU’s all-time scoring list with 1,169 career points. Abrom also contributed with seven boards and a team-high five assists in 33 minutes of action.
UU received solid contributions across the board, including 15 points from Jahmere Howze and 10 points from Jagger Surface as both players returned to the lineup. AJ Washington grabbed a career-high 12 boards and electrified the crowd with four dunks.
The lead changed four times in the first half with the visitors going up by five points at the eight-minute mark. Then, a dunk from Washington ignited an impressive 20-3 run over the next five minutes as UU went ahead 39-27.
A WVSU 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer cut UU’s lead to single digits, 47-39, but then UU raced out to a comfortable lead in the second half. The Blue Knights led by as much as 24 following Ethan Snapp 3-pointer to put UU up 79-55 with 8:03 left in the contest.
The Blue Knights will hit the road again this week with matchups at No. 2 Fairmont State (Thursday) and Shepherd (Saturday).
UU women fall
The Urbana University women’s basketball team fell, 92-82, to visiting West Virginia State on Saturday inside the Grimes Center.
The Blue Knights led by as much as six in the early going, but fell behind on a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the first quarter. UU, which dropped to 5-14 (3-13 MEC), never regained the lead despite trailing by single digits for most of the matchup. WVSU improved to 11-11 (9-7 MEC) on the year.
Morgan Mattimore led the way for the Blue Knights with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Sylvia Hudson produced another double-double effort with 12 points and 13 boards, while Stefanie Davis (16 points), Megan Beachy (14 points – four three’s) and Erin Morrow (11 points – season-high) contributed to the output. Morrow came out on fire, going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc in the first half and led the team with six assists.
Both teams shot 45 percent overall and the Blue Knights shot well from long range, tying their season-best 13 made 3-pointers (13-31). The difference for the Jackets came at the free-throw line, where they went 26 of 32. UU only attempted 10 freebies and made seven. WVSU also used a 40-31 rebounding edge to stay in front of the Knights.
With under five minutes left in the game, Beachy knocked down a 3-pointer to make the score 75-73 in WVSU’s favor. However, the turning point came shortly after that bucket as the Jackets countered with a 10-0 run to grab the lead for good.
UU will return to action on Thursday when it travels to Fairmont State for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff inside Retton Arena.