The Urbana University men’s basketball team won their second straight home game on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Knights looked sharp in a 71-63 win over visiting Mercyhurst University.
Urbana opened the game on a 9-2 run thanks to buckets on the Blue Knights’ first four possessions. By the end of the first half, though, Mercyhurst had taken a 32-30 lead. The Lakers’ Luis Leao hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the visitors a boost heading into the break.
Mercyhurst maintained their lead for the first 16 minutes of the second half. The Lakers led by as many as 8 points with 6 minutes to go before the Blue Knights mounted their comeback.
A 9-1 run sparked by a Ramel Mitchell corner three tied the game at 59, and Urbana didn’t stop there. The Blue Knights scored 12 of the game’s final 16 points to cruise to an 8-point margin of victory.
Urbana shot better than 50% in the second half. For the game, the Blue Knight knocked down 7 of 17 three-pointers and turned the over just nine times in the win. Armond Battle (pictured) led Urbana with 23 points. Danny Goins added 21 on 7 of 12 shooting, and Mitchell chipped in 11 off the bench. Freshman guard Marques Greene pulled down a team-high 6 rebounds in just 9 minutes of action.
Urbana improves to 3-3 with the win, while Mercyhurst falls to 2-2. On Tuesday night, the Blue Knights take on another PSAC opponent. Urbana travels to Edinboro University for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. Last year, the Blue Knights knocked off Edinboro 114-111 in double overtime.
The Lady Wildcats from Northern Michigan University handed Urbana University its fourth straight loss on Sunday afternoon. On the second day of Ashland University’s Holiday Inn Classic, NMU scored the final eight points in a 71-61 win over the Blue Knights.
Urbana owned a 4-point lead at the half, but the banged-up Blue Knights couldn’t hold on for the win. Playing without three starters, Urbana clung to a 48-47 lead with under nine minutes to go. The Wildcats scored 15 of the next 19 points to open a 12-point lead, but the Blue Knights still battled back.
Christina Nagle’s jumper in the paint with 2:04 to play brought Urbana within two at 63-61, but the Wildcats answered with a lay-up, a defensive stop, and six straight free throws to ice the game.
Urbana’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Ciara Geiger, finished with a game-high 24 in defeat. Geiger was 4 of 9 from downtown, and she recorded a career-high 9 steals while playing all 40 minutes. Freshman guard Kennedy Boggs added 13 points and 3 steals.
The Blue Knights (1-5) play their fourth straight game on the road on Tuesday night, traveling to Alderson-Broaddus College for a 5:15 p.m. tip-off.