The Saints of Flagler University came marching into Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court on Feb.2 and were shut down and turned away thanks to a suffocating defensive effort by the Braves from start to finish on Alumni Day.
“We challenged the guys to start both halves with a lot of defensive energy. I thought we did that the previous game in the first half but the second half we were kind of just trading baskets with Francis Marion. I though we started both halves fairly well at the defensive end,” said Head Coach Ben Miller.
The Braves held Flagler to a season low 52 two points and contested nearly every shot, including limiting the Saints to a mere 26.1 percent shooting percentage from the field in the first half alone.
The Braves put together perhaps their most complete and balanced performance of the season in front a packed home crowd littered with several alumni members of both the men’s and women’s programs that have either played or coach at UNCP as they secured their third straight win in lopsided fashion.
“This might have been one of our complete defensive performances. Offensively it was pretty good at times,” said Miller.
The Black and Gold would go on several scoring runs throughout the contest and never trailed once. After they led by nearly 20 points at halftime, they would start the second half even more efficiently than the first, shooting 60 percent from the field in the first 14 minutes of play.
The Braves have now won 39 of their last 43 games on their home court dating back to the 2015-2016 campaign. The Saints became the fourth team that the Black and Gold have held to 35 percent or lower from the field as they held Flagler to 18 of 52 from the field and are now undefeated when they score 90 or more points on the season.
Akia Pruitt and Spencer Levi continued their strong play as Pruitt led the team in scoring 18 points and Levi once again led all players off the bench with 15 points, going a perfect 6-6 from the field.
The Braves had three other players notch double-digit points as James Murray-Boyles, David Strother and Cam Hamilton each registered a dozen points. All 12 of Hamilton’s points behind the arc as he was 4-6 from the perimeter.