Men’s Basketball Extend Win Streak to Seven Straight:
The UNCP men’s basketball team continued to dominate over the holiday hiatus from classes as they didn’t drop a single contest away or at home during their impressive seven-game win streak to improve their overall record to 9-1 coming into the new year.
The Braves haven’t lost a game in nearly two months since a narrow 72-77 defeat against Barton on Nov. 16. The team’s lone senior in forward James Murray-Boyles lead the team in scoring during the month of December with 59 points and junior Akia Pruitt wasn’t far behind with 53 points.
Their most impressive and dominate victory of the month came on it’s very first day when they trounced the Mountain Lions of Young Harris College 105-70 in their first taste of conference play. The Black and Gold had a total of seven players produce double-digit performances, highlighted by the breakout game for redshirt freshman Cam Hamilton who finished with a team high as well as career bests in points (21) and steals (6).
Wrestling is Off to a Hot Start:
The UNCP wrestling team were plenty busy over the already abbreviated winter break. The Braves took part in two tournaments and fared well in both and hosted their first dual meet of the season.
Their first tournament in which they participated in was the Midwest Classic in Indianapolis, Indiana on Dec. 15 and 16 at Nicoson Hall on the campus of the University of Indianapolis. They churned out two top 10 finishes in both days of the contest, coming in eighth place on the first day and 10th on the second.
They would follow that up with a thorough thrashing of the Crusaders from Belmont Abbey College 31-13 in their first dual meet held at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court of the season. Freshman Ronnie Pietro had the first dominant match of the bout with an early tech fall at 133lbs in which he posted 14 of his 15 points in the first period alone.
Redshirt juniors Tyler Makosy and Brandon Sloop both secured major decision victories in their respective weight classes of 157 (15-6) and 174 (13-5). All-American Rodney Shepard pulled off an 8-2 decision upset over nationally ranked Greg Hilliard to give his team a 20-point advantage.
The Black and Gold closed out 2018 with a pair of top three finishes in the two-day Citrus Invitational in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at Cardinal Gibbons High School. The Braves would finish in second place on day one and come in third on day two. In the end they would have nine wrestlers reach their respective podiums, highlighted by the trio of All-American Nick Daggett, sophomore Johnathan Miller and Sloop who secured first place finishes by going undefeated in their individual brackets.
Women’s Basketball Fall Short Over the Holidays:
After kicking off the month of December with an impressive nearly 20-point triumph over the Mountain Lions of Young Harris College 72-53 on their home court, the UNCP women’s basketball team would enter the new year on a four-game losing skid, three of which came by single digit point margins.