Bahamian players shine in the NCAA


Tribune Sports Reporter


CONFERENCE play continues throughout NCAA Division I with several Bahamian players in action over the weekend.

Travis Munnings continues his productivity and his back-to-back 20 point games helped the UM Warhawks recover from a four-game losing streak with a pair of wins of their own.

Munnings scored a team high 20 points, added six rebounds, two steals and two assists in the Warhawks' 83-74 win over South Alabama Saturday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, Louisiana.

The Warhawks' offensive efficiency gave them an early advantage and an 18-point lead at the half, 47-29. South Alabama won the second half by nine but never threatened as ULM led by double figures most of the second half and pulled their record to .500 at 11-11.

Munnings and the Warhawks ended the losing streak Thursday with a 76-71 win at home over Troy. Prior to the win over Troy, the Warhawks had lost six of their last seven games, including four consecutive.

"That was a tremendous win, and those players in the locker room needed it more than me," ULM head basketball coach Keith Richard said. "With the four-game losing streak, the players felt like they were carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. I'm so happy for the team. Those guys played a great second half. The Warhawks switched to a smaller lineup, with the 6'6" Munnings logging minutes at power forward to space the floor.

"The decision to go with five guards also allowed us to spread the floor offensively. We scored 52 points in the second half because we were able to drive and kick for open 3s, but we also were effective attacking the basket at time," Richard said, "Travis Munnings and Sam McDaniel both made some tough plays is the second half. Travis was aggressive and drove the ball to the basket, and that's something we haven't seen from him in a long, long time."

On the season, Munnings is the team's leading rebounder at 6.6 rebounds per game, second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and third in assists at 2.2 assists per game.

Dwight Coleby and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers continue to lead Conference-USA and closed out the month with another win.

Coleby recorded his ninth double double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds in an 85-74 win over the Marshall Thundering Herd Saturday at EA Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers improved to 15-6 overall and 7-1 in the conference. Trailing 74-40 with 4:39 left to play, WKU ended the game on a 15-0 run

WKU drew an over-capacity crowd of 7,362, marking its first back-to-back sellouts since 2005-06 and its first consecutive conference sellouts since 2001-02.

The Hilltoppers shot 47.6 percent from the field (57.6 percent in the second half), made 20 of 26 free throws and outrebounded Marshall 45-30. WKU outscored the Thundering Herd 46-26 in the paint.

WKU never trailed in the first half, but led by just one when the Hilltoppers went on a 10-2 run to open a 41-32 advantage with one minute left in the frame.

The Herd used a 9-2 run to surge in front for the first time midway through the second half, and they opened their largest lead of the game with four-plus minutes left before WKU's big push.

Coleby is averaging 12.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting 62 percent from the floor.

Deandre Ayton and the No.11 ranked Arizona Wildcats escaped the McKale Center in Tuscon, Arizona with a thrilling 74-73 win over the Utah Utes. Arizona improved to 18-4, 8-1 in the Pac-12,

Arizona opened the game on a 14-4 run while hitting its first six shots and made nearly every Utah possession a struggle. They led 43-33 at the half.

The Wildcats went 16 for 23 from the floor, including 7 of 9 from the 3-point arc. Ayton is one of four players in NCAA Division I basketball to average a double double at 19.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

Tum Tum Nairn scored two points and dished two assists in a 74-68 win for his No.6 Michigan State Spartans over the Marlyland Terrapins.


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