Courtesy of James Garcia, Sports Information Director
West Virginia State 5-0
St. Augustine’s 2-3
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The West Virginia State University men’s basketball team (5-0, 2-0 MEC) defeated Saint Augustine’s (2-3) by a final score of 82-67 on Saturday afternoon at the Emery Gymnasium. A strong second-half performance by the Yellow Jackets helped them remain undefeated through the first five games of the season.
Sophomore guard Samier Kinslerdropped a season-high 25 points on the Falcons and led all players in scoring by doing so. He shot 5-of-9 from behind the arc and 8-of-14 from the floor. Fellow sophomore Ibn Loyal reached double-digits in scoring for the third-straight game with 12 points. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Miguel Martinez scored in double-figures for the third time this season with 10 points. He knocked down both of his three-point field goal attempts.
The score was tied four times in a hotly-contested first half. Both teams struggled to make baskets in the opening five minutes. Malik Whitaker scored the first points of the game with a layup after a minute and a half rolled off the clock. Kinsler added a pair of free throws two minutes later to give WVSU a 4-0 lead. The lead lasted until the 15-minute mark of the first period when Saint Augustine’s went up by two, 6-4.
The Yellow Jackets played from behind for the rest of the opening half. Taevon Horton tied the score, 8-8, at the 13-minute mark by completing a four-point play. Bunky Brown then tied it up once again, 13-13, near the midway point by hitting a three. The Falcons then stretched their lead to as much as seven points twice over the ensuing five minutes.
In the final five minutes of the first half, State closed the gap by going on a 10-2 run. The late run included a couple of treys made by Kinsler and ended with him being sent to the free throw line. Kinsler made his first shot from the charity stripe to tie the score once more, 30-30, before making his second free throw attempt to give WVSU a one-point lead, 31-30, going into halftime.
The Yellow Jackets carried the late momentum from the first half into the second half and never looked back. They went on a 13-2 run before the first media timeout to go up by double-digits, 47-36. Whitaker contributed six points to the dominant stretch that positioned WVSU in front for the remainder of the contest.
State briefly lost its double-figure advantage when the Falcons made a fastbreak dunk following the 13-2 run. After that, the Yellow Jackets led by at least 10 points through the final buzzer.
The largest lead for WVSU came with five minutes to go when Martinez connected on a three-pointer to put State ahead by 18 points, 73-55. The Yellow Jackets were then able to cruise to an 82-67 victory in the waning minutes of the game.
State was able to win comfortably thanks to deadly accurate three-point and free-throw shooting. WVSU shot 56 percent from behind the arc and 92 percent from the charity stripe.
The Yellow Jackets will resume MEC play with a road trip to Frostburg State on Wednesday, Nov. 30 next. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.