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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Men's Basketball

Basketball sees layup in weekend matchups


The men’s basketball team earned a 94-67 win over head coach Kelvin Sampson’s alma mater UNC-Pembroke Saturday. | Bryce Dodds/The Cougar

The basketball season is off to a slam dunk as the men’s and women’s teams came away with wins in their respective exhibition matchups over the weekend.

With the tune-up games out of the way, the teams can now prepare for the regular season later this week from Hofheinz Pavilion.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson and the men’s team got the weekend started with a 94-67 win over the the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Sampson’s alma mater.

“I didn’t see anything that surprised me, good or bad,” Sampson said following the game. “The first game is for seeing how guys react to things. Our turnover situation is going to be corrected. I liked our effort, and I liked the way we moved the ball.”

Damyean Dotson, preseason American Athletic Conference’s first-teamer, shined brightest as the senior guard scored 23 points on a consistent 7-of-10 shooting. The Houston native found his three-point shot early and often, hitting on 5-of-7 from distance.

Junior guard Rob Gray Jr. led the team in scoring a year ago and added 22 points of his own in the win over UNC-Pembroke.

Rebounds were the difference maker on Saturday, as the Cougar men controlled the glass all night. Basketball grabbed 19 offensive boards while outrebounding the Braves 53-25 for the game.

The women’s team capped off the weekend with a 64-32 win over St. Edward’s University. Although never trailing in the game, head coach Ronald Hughey believes there is still room for improvement on the defensive end.

“We were OK,” Hughey said. “We can pressure a lot better than that. We can also close out gaps, sprint the floor and recover, rebound on the defensive end a lot better. There are so many things we can continue to get better at.”

Junior guard Mariah Mitchell led all Cougar scorers with 14 points with all of her field goals being from distance. Mitchell was 4-for-6 from behind the arc and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

Third-year guard Chyanne Butler added 11 points of her own in the rout and led all Cougars in steals with five.

An 18-0 scoring run to begin the second half iced the game as women’s basketball was able to cruise to the victory following that point.

The women will now have a week of practice before opening their season Sunday against Southeastern Louisiana University.

The men will ready for a Friday night matchup against Morgan State University on Friday.

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