PEMBROKE — Behind the brace of double-doubles from Kierra Haney and Jazmine Kemp, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke womens basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak to defeat Lander 66-56, making coach John Haskins became the winningest coach in program history.
It was Haskins’ 114th win with the Braves (6-8, 2-5 PBC) and put him ahead of Lalon Jones.
“We still made some mistakes in terms of being strong with the basketball and some box outs down the stretch, but I thought we did some things well, and the big thing is we attacked offensively,” Haskins said. “I also thought our defense was fairly solid, we had a stretch in the first half where we didn’t get matched up in transitions and we gave up some easy ones, but except for that I thought our defense was pretty solid.”
Haney finished the night with 14 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and Kemp grabbed her own with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Avae’ Hardy also chipped in with 12 points.
The Bearcats (8-8, 3-4) were paced by Alexis Armstrong and Ashleigh Zandi with 14 points each and Portia McCray added another 11 points. Perimeter shooters stayed active with little success, as the Bearcats connected on just 7-of-37 shots from behind the arc.
UNCP made the first two shots of the game on back-to-back jumpers from Hardy and Kemp, but the Bearcats held the Braves scoreless for nearly four minutes and went ahead 12-6 just seven minutes into the game. Airico Williams later hit consecutive 3-point buckets for the Braves to tie it at 14-14. The Braves ended the half on an 11-4 run and led 32-22 at the break.
The Braves controlled the tempo throughout the final 20 minutes and led by as many as 15 points.
UNCP men lose in overtime
Ben Jacobs stepped in front of an inbounds pass and hit an 18-foot baseline jumper at the buzzer to force overtime, but the UNCP mens basketball team shot 1-for-10 in the extra period and committed a pair of costly turnovers en route to an 81-74 loss to Lander.
It was the fourth-straight loss for the Braves(11-6, 2-5 PBC), who had beat Lander (10-6, 4-3) earlier this year.
“They have been playing really well as of late, and they have a really good team,” said UNCP coach Ben Miller. “We just need to find a way to get more stops. We were pretty good in the first half, but they had a lot to do with our second half defensive performance. They executed well and got some good shots and made the ones that they needed to.”
The Bearcats trailed for most of the first 27 minutes of the game but used an 8-2 run midway through the second half to tie the game at 49 each, and then led for most of the final nine minutes of regulation.
Quamain Rose gave the Braves a three-point lead, 66-63, on a lay-in with 2:29 left in the second period, but Lander scored the game’s next five points to take the momentum back. Jacobs jumped in front of Michael Panaggio on an inbounds pass from Jareal Smith and dished the ball to Rose near the bench. Not able to find a good look, Rose returned the ball back to Jacobs who nailed the long jumper as the buzzer went off.
The Braves took the first lead in overtime on a pair of Griffin Pittman free throws with four minutes left to play, but Lander answered with an 11-2 run that put the game out of reach. The Braves made it a two-possession game after two more free throws by Pittman with 51 seconds left, but missed their last three shots of the game — all 3-pointers — to seal the outcome.
Brandon Winford scored a team-high 18 points and came within a rebound of notching his sixth career double-double to lead UNCP, which also got 15 points from Griffin Pittman and 11 from Quamain Rose.
Lander freshman J.R. Washington had 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting, including a 6-for-7 night from the 3-point line. Panaggio added 18 points and Jareal Smith had 12.