Blue Knight men fall to visiting Shepherd

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The Urbana University men’s basketball team fell, 68-58, on Saturday to visiting Shepherd.

UU slips to 5-15 overall and 3-13 against conference opponents while SU improves to (11-11, 7-10).

“I talked to the guys a little bit after the game on worrying about our formula for winning as opposed to worrying about our identity,” said UU Coach Nick Dials. “We have to do the little things to win games and that starts on the defensive side of the floor. We can score, I’m not worried about that, but until we start focusing on defense and taking whatever is given to us on the offensive end, we are going to have games like this. That’s why we shot such a low percentage. Defense has to be at the forefront of everybody’s mind for us to win games.”

Junior guard Jordan Bradley led with 12 points as the only UU player in double figures. Junior Ethan Snapp added nine points and senior Malik Jacobs chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds.

Shepherd’s Thomas Lang and Derek McKnight each posted a game-high 16 points. Jon Preston grabbed 16 boards and scored nine points.

UU shot a season-low 32 percent from the field and was forced to try and overcome a 19-point deficit midway through the second half. The visitors led 34-26 at halftime after multiple lead changes in the opening period.

The Blue Knights got to within nine points with four minutes left after a Datrey Long layup made it 58-49. However, the Rams responded to score seven unanswered points to put the game out of reach.

SU shot 44 percent overall and held a 43-37 advantage on the boards.

UU travels to Buckhannon, W. Va., on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup against West Virginia Wesleyan.

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