Even though the final score ended up being 105-81, the No.5 seed Georgia College Bobcats did not just roll over and hand the No.4 seed UNCP men’s basketball team their ticket to the second round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
It was a hard-fought bout between the two teams that split their regular season series and while hardly any of them came easy for the Braves, they were able to use some highly proficient shooting from behind the arc to secure the victory on Mar.6 on Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court.
“This week they’ve been a little more focused with a better sense of urgency going into the postseason,” said Head Coach Ben Miller. “Hopefully we are starting to peak at the right time.”
The Black and Gold would finish the day shooting over 50 percent from the field overall and 56 percent from three-point range. They made it ran earlier and often making nearly half of their perimeter shots in the opening 20 minutes, and the downpour would continue in the second half of play as they would miss just three of their 10 long balls for 70 percent clip in the final 20 minutes.
While both teams were extremely aggressive in the paint as their rebound totals were just about even with the home team having a slight advantage at 37-35 it was the Braves that were really asserting their authority on the glass as the contest featured several highlight-worthy slam dunks form Spencer Levi and Akia Pruitt.
The Braves had six players reach double figures in points and Levi came one bucket shy of making it seven. While lone senior James Murray-Boyles led the team in scoring and tied his season-high with 22 points, it was junior Micah Kinsey that stole the show and made history.
Kinsey set a new Peach Belt Conference Tournament as well as program record for assists in a game with a staggering 17 on the night. He was wheeling and dealing with his teammates all game long and was responsible for putting his fellow Braves for those three-point opportunities and those monster dunks with surgical precision and pristine passing.
“I saw they were denying arguably our best scorers and would sag off the rest of us. I knew that I could move the ball around and there was space for me to maneuver to open up other players,” said Kinsey. “I had good court vision, so I found the open guys when I needed to.”
He would finish the game with more assists than points as he came in third on the team in scoring with 14, corralled six rebounds, added a pair of steals and committed just one turnover.
"It’s win or go home, and I’m not ready to go home. I made sure to emphasize that to my teammates too,” said Kinsey after his historic performance.