First-Half Run Helps UNC Pembroke Power Past Pirates, 93-81

First-Half Run Helps UNC Pembroke Power Past Pirates, 93-81

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The UNC Pembroke men's basketball team used a 13-0 first-half run and a healthy rebounding edge to knock off Armstrong State University, 93-81, in Peach Belt Conference action on Wednesday evening at Alumni Arena.

The Braves improved to 19-7 overall and 12-5 in the PBC with the win, while Armstrong State suffered its fourth straight loss, falling to 10-16 overall and 5-12 in the PBC. The Pirates will return to action on Saturday, hosting Francis Marion in a 6:00 p.m. PBC contest at Alumni Arena. It will also be Senior Day for Armstrong State.

A three-point basket by senior Jamison Jeffers tied the score at 17-all with 12:30 left to go in the first half. UNC Pembroke would then embark on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes, capping the run with a basket by Akia Pruitt, to build a 30-17 lead with 9:33 left until the break. 

The Braves would keep that lead into halftime, taking a 47-38 advantage at halftime thanks in large part to a 30-13 rebounding edge, including a 13-3 margin on the offensive glass.

UNC Pembroke would lead by as many as 18 points in the second half, but a late run by the Pirates - who erased an 18-point second-half deficit in last year's meeting at Alumni Arena to force overtime - would cut the lead to seven points with 1:23 left on a three-pointer by freshman Corey Tillery. The Braves' Alex Bradley would make 6-of-6 free throws in the final 1:14, however, to clinch the win.

Tillery finished with a game-high 27 points for the Pirates, on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-8 from three-point range and 12-of-14 from the free throw line. His three threes give him 90 for the season, one shy of the single-season Armstrong State record of 91, set by Phil Clark in 1991-92. Denzel Collins added 14 points off the bench, while Denzel Council chipped in 12 points and Kalen Clifton added 10.

UNC Pembroke placed four players in double figures, led by Pruitt's double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, as well as Brandon Watts' double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nigel Grant had 16 points before fouling out in the second half and Bradley added 14 points.

The Braves finished the contest wtih a 56-33 edge in rebounding and a 23-11 edge in second chance points.