Monday, January 8, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IT was a two-game sweep for the University of the Bahamas Mingoes men’s basketball team at the 2018 Eagles Men’s Basketball Classic over the weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
In their opener on Friday at the Eagles Gymnasium against Johnson University, the Mingoes escaped with a 71-70 win before they held off the Trinity Baptist College 72-65 on Saturday.
“Trinity, after losing their first game, came out and led by nine points against us,” said Lavar Johnson, who assisted head coach Bacchus Rolle. “At the end of the first half, our guys were able to fight back into it.
“We had a good all-around effort from our bench and the starters did what they had to do. After we sustained their first surge, we settled down and our offence started to click in.”
After taking a 41-35 at the half, Johnson said they managed to open as much as a 18-point lead in the second half, only to watch as Trinity stormed back and made a contest out of it down the stretch.
“We had a drought where we couldn’t score and they came back to cut the deficit to about four points,” he pointed out. “But we were able to get it back again and controlled the rest of the game to hold on for the win.”
Johnson said it was quite different from their opening game where they traded the lead with Johnson University before they able to preserve the close encounter in the final seconds.
The Mingoes are now in Miami, Florida, where they are preparing for their final game set for 7pm tonight when they are slated to take on St John’s University before returning home on Tuesday.
On their return home, the Mingoes will play their first game of the second half of the New Providence Basketball Association against the Rhythm Rebels at 8:30pm on Friday at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
The Mingoes closed out the first half of the NPSA season with a 1-2 win-loss record.
• Here’s a summary of the two games they played in Florida over the weekend:
Mingoes 71, Johnson University 70: Kemsy Sylvestre exploded for a game high 33 points in 37 minutes and 15 seconds. He was 15-of-2-0 from the field and 3-for-6 from the free throw line. Sylvestre also had four rebounds and two assists.
Two other players finished in double figures as Justin Smith came up with 11 in 26:47 minutes and Justin Munroe had 10 points and four rebounds in 26:49 minutes. Donovan Dean added nine points, Ramon Dames had five and Javares McIntosh chipped in with the only other two points.
University of the Bahamas out-rebounded Johnson University 30-23, but they had one more turnover with a 7-6 difference.
Johnson University, who led 31-29 at the half, had two players in double figures as Kendall Oliver had 21 points and Phil LaGrier had 12.
Mingoes 72, Trinity Baptist College 65: Kemsy Slyvestre once again led a balanced scoring attack with a game high 21 points, shooting 9-for-19 from the field and 2-for-5 from the foul line in 35:34 minutes. Sylvestre also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Justin Smith, in 29:39 minutes, was the only other player in double figures with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals. Ramon Dames had nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Romero Cornish had nine points; Rashad Sturrup had eight points and five rebounds. Javares McIntosh and Donovan Dean both contributed three points.
Trinity Baptist College had three players in double figures. JyKale Walker had 20 points and three rebounds; Chandler Rivers had 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals and Marquis Duncanson helped out with 14 points.
University of the Bahamas got out-rebounded 44-42, but they had 14 turnovers, compared to 16 by Trinity Baptist College.