Cleare has big game, Munnings posts his 4th double double

A PAIR of standout individual performances for Bahamian NCAA Division I basketball players at holiday tournaments over the weekend, however it failed to translate to wins for their teams.

Travis Munnings and Shaquille Cleare had two of their better games of the season but their teams still struggle in the win-loss column on the season.

Munnings posted his fourth double double of the season - 12 points and 12 rebounds - in his Louisiana Munroe Warhawks’ 68-84 loss to the Northwestern State Demons in the Shreveport Bossier Holiday Classic tournament at the CenturyLink Center.

The sophomore forward shot 5-9 from the field and was perfect from three at 2-2.

Northwestern State shot 61.5 percent in the first half to jump out to a 18 point halftime lead after the Warhawks shot just 33.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

Munnings has scored at least 10 points in eight straight games (including three double-doubles),

“I don’t understand why we struggled early,” Warhawks head coach Keith Richard said, “We looked shell-shocked early and we were able to play better in the second half, however, we were too far behind to make up the margin in the game. It seemed like a little bit of everything is why we struggled early but credit to Northwestern as they played extremely well early and were able to put us in that hole.”

At 4-6 and first place in the Sun Belt Conference, The Warhawks will play two more games before the Christmas holiday.

They travel to Baltimore, Marlyland to face Coppin State at 2pm local time and Thursday night at 7 pm against VCU.

Munnings remains the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, currently averaging 13.2 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from the field.

His rebound totals rank second in the Conference.

Munnings is one of only two returning players to start at least one game last season for the Warhawks when they finished just one game shy of an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

Fellow Bahamian Prince Cooper is also a member of the Warhawks roster.The senior guard has appeared in four games this season.

Over in the Big 12, Shaquille Cleare and the Texas Longhorns suffered another hard fought loss, 77-74, to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Lone Star Shootout in Houston, Texas.

Cleare finished with 10 points and seven rebounds and the Longhorns, who began the season ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation, fell to 5-5 on the season.

For Cleare, he reached double figures in scoring for the second time this year and the fourth time in his Longhorns career.

His seven rebounds were one shy of his Texas career high which he reached on two other occasions

The Longhorns return home to face UAB on Wednesday, December 21 at 8pm.

In the Big 10, Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr and the Michigan State Spartans lost their first game of the season to an unranked opponent when they fell 81-73 to the Northeastern Huskies in the Winter Shootout.

Nairn went scoreless in 21 minutes.

“ We didn’t play very good, but give them all the credit. They played better than us in just about every fashion. They hit some shots just before halftime and a couple of those were threes. Give them credit, they made them. We didn’t defend them very well, but the game, as average as we played, I thought we had a chance,” Spartans head coach Tom Izzo said, “We can’t take anything away from the effort that Northeastern gave, they played harder. They outrebounded us most of the night. In the second half we picked it up a bit. It was a tough matchup. All in all we just didn’t play well enough.”

The Spartans will look to rebound in the win column when they host Oakland December 21 at 7pm.


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