INSTITUTE, W. Va. – Urbana University came out on fire Saturday at West Virginia State, but couldn’t outlast the Yellow Jackets in a 95-86 loss in men’s basketball inside the Walker Convocation Center.
UU drops to 4-12 overall and 3-7 in league play and sits in a four-way tie for eighth place in the Mountain East Conference standings. WVSU won its sixth straight to improve to 12-3 (7-3 MEC).
UU freshman guard Shaunn Monroe led the way with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Fellow freshmen Mario Lacy Jr. and Tehree Horn both scored 12 points and Lacy logged his second double-double by tying his career-high with 13 rebounds.
Additionally, junior guard Drew Thomas posted nine points with five rebounds and three assists while freshman forward Kyle Kegley notched nine points and seven boards.
UU raced out to a 13-1 lead and moved ahead 20-6 in the first six minutes of the game. The Blue Knights started 8 of 14 from the field and 4 of 5 from three-point range, including three treys made by Monroe.
However, streaky three-point shooting ended up hurting the Blue Knights, who missed 10 consecutive attempts from beyond the arc after starting 6 of 10 from deep.
The host Yellow Jackets regrouped and strung together a 21-4 run over the next 6:49, moving ahead 27-24 with under eight minutes left until halftime.
The two squads started trading baskets as a four-point play from Brandon Michrina helped put the Blue Knights back in front 33-32 at the 4:46 mark. But the lead was short-lived. West Virginia State closed the half on a 16-6 spurt and went up 48-39 at halftime. The Jackets led the rest of the game.
In the second half, UU trailed by as much as 17 with 5:38 remaining but made one final push to get within five.
A Darius Barksdale layup with 47 seconds left capped a 19-7 run by the Blue Knights and trimmed the deficit to 89-84. Kegley and Thomas each had seven points down the stretch.
The Jackets made 6 of 6 at the free-throw line to hold on for the win.
UU registered a 39-32 advantage in rebounds as West Virginia State held a slight edge in shooting percentage.
UU travels to West Liberty University on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The Hilltoppers (13-3, 8-2 MEC) defeated the Blue Knights earlier this season, 101-76.