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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Men's Basketball

Basketball to open season at home Friday


Months have preparation will come to an end Friday as the basketball team opens their season against Morgan State University. | Reagan Earnst/The Cougar

The men’s basketball team tips off the 2016-2017 basketball season Friday night when they welcome Morgan State University to Hofheinz Pavilion.

Although the matchup is not an exhibition game, the team will return to exhibition play next Wednesday facing Angelo State University.

Friday’s matchup marks the start of the 72nd year of competition for Cougar men’s basketball. Basketball has performed well in season-opening games, going 51-20 in its history.

The Cougars have won six consecutive season-openers, with their last loss coming to Georgia Southern University in 2008. Aside from that defeat, the team has won 11 of their last 12 openers.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson has dominated in opening games with a 21-2 record and an average margin of victory of 22.4 points per game.

Basketball is coming off an impressive win against the University of North Carolina at Pembroke last Saturday. The Cougars were in control from start to finish and used their fast-paced offense to snatch a 94-67 win.

Against the Braves, senior guard Damyean Dotson showed his dynamic scoring abilities en route to pacing the team with 23 points. Dotson shot 7-for-10 from the field and 5-for-7 from three-point range.

Junior guard Rob Gray Jr. was close behind Dotson with 22 points of his own on 9-for-10 shooting. Gray led all scorers last season despite coming off of the bench with 16 points per game.

The game will serve as the first action Morgan State has seen in 2016.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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