The Urbana University men’s basketball team slipped into this week’s Mountain East Conference Tournament in Charleston, West Virginia, with a thrilling win in the final regular season game. Now that they are there, the Blue Knights are more focused than ever and looking to grab the program’s first win at the MEC championship event.
UU (12-16, 7-15 MEC) claimed the most wins in the school’s NCAA Division II era to earn the ninth seed and will take on eighth-seeded Charleston (14-14, 8-14 MEC) tonight. Tipoff will occur at approximately 8:15 p.m. inside Charleston Civic Center, following the conclusion of the UVa-Wise vs. Glenville State contest.
There will be no live video coverage of the opening round games, but audio and stats will be running through the MEC Tournament Central Page.
UU hopes to ride the momentum gained from capturing victories in two of the past three games.
This season, UU has already posted the most wins as a Division II program (12). The previous high of 11 victories occurred in 2012 (11-19) after the Blue Knights became an official D2 member prior to the 2010-11 academic year.
UU is making its fourth appearance in the MEC Tournament, which moved to a 10-team format for the first time this season. The Blue Knights are 0-3 in tournament play, including a 76-66 loss at Charleston in last year’s opening round.
In addition to seeking their first tournament win, the Blue Knights are searching for their first win over the Golden Eagles. Charleston holds an 11-0 all-time record against the Blue Knights, including two wins this season (116-96 and 79-65).
Freshman sensation DeQuan Abrom led the Blue Knights in scoring during his first collegiate season with 16.2 points per game. Abrom turned up his play near the finish of the regular season with a career-high 31 points and game-winning three at Notre Dame College (91-88 win). The Maryland native has scored over 20 points in five of the previous seven games.
Junior Carlas Jackson, who ranks 20th all-time in UU scoring, registered his career-high 31 points in last year’s tournament matchup at Charleston.
UU sophomore Jahmere Howze has been voted to the 2017 All-Mountain East Conference Honorable Mention team in men’s basketball. Howze becomes the first Blue Knight men’s hoopster to earn all-league recognition since UU joined the MEC in 2013.