The UNCP men’s basketball team sent their lone senior, James Murray-Boyles out in style in his last regular season home game of his collegiate career. The Braves had one of their best shooting performances of the season in their 122-96 victory of the Lakers of Clayton State University on Feb.23 on Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court.
“I thought our energy was really good, said Head Coach Ben Miller. “Even going back before the [USC] Aiken game, our guys were focused, and their sense of urgency went to a different level. If we keep building on that, we can have some fun here down the stretch.”
The team and athletic department honored Murray-Boyles in prior to the game with a framed jersey with his No.30 on it with some of his close friends and family, who were sporting t-shirts with him plastered on the front, joining him at mid-court.
“It felt good. My mom was trying to surprise me but I kind of already knew they were coming. My dad kind of gave me a heads up but it was good because a lot of my family have never seen me play before ever,” said Murray Boyles.
The Braves shot over 57 percent on the day and were especially lethal from the field in the first half, where they shot better than 61 percent. They got the lead in the first minute of the game and would not trail the rest of the way as they cruised to a nearly 30-point victory in their last home contest of the regular season.
While he didn’t lead the team in scoring on the day, Murray-Boyles was the only Brave to register a double-double as his 11 rebounds lead the team and his 16 points put him fourth in scoring. It was his fifth double-double of his career and he also logged a pair of assists and a steal.
“I’ve just had a lot of respect for how he’s matured and grown on and off the court. Academically, he’s come a long way, he’s become a great leader not just for our team [but] on campus and it shows in how he interacts with people and the respect that he has from his teammates, staff and really everybody,” said Miller.