David Strother #2 of UNC Pembroke looking to pass the ball during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and UNC Pembroke at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Nov. 1, 2018. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
The UNCP men’s basketball team kicked off their 2018-2019 campaign with an exhibition bout against the Buckeyes of Ohio State University on Nov. 2. At the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH.
Before the action got started the volunteer assistant coach Eldon Miller, father of head coach Ben Miller, was honored by Ohio State basketball for leading the program for a decade from 1977-1986.
Eldon also won a national invitational tournament title in his final season at the helm.
Ohio State jumped out to a quick 11-point lead and would have a 13-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the game.
The Buckeyes would build a 23-point advantage and lead 40-17 after the Braves struggled shooting for the majority of the half and the home team dominated in the paint.
The Black and Gold would cut the deficit to 18 after the hosts went on a scoreless streak with just under three minutes before the end of the half, leaving the score at 42-24.
The Buckeyes were red-hot coming out of the intermission and scored the first 11 points of the second half.
After trailing by as many as 30 points at one point in the half, the Braves got rolling on offense and tightened up defensively in the last five minutes of the game to bring the final score to 81-63.
Senior James Murray-Boyles lead the team with 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half.
Sophomore David Strother came in second on the team in scoring with 11 points and was an efficient 3-4 on three-pointers.
Sophomore Tyrell Kirk was strong as a defender with nine of his team leading 11 rebounds coming on defense.
While it took the Braves awhile to settle in and make shots, the second half was a indication that this years’ team is capable of hanging around with Division I opponents as they matched the Buckeyes’ 39 points in the second half.