Bahamians clinch titles in NCAA Division I Basketball


Nathan Bain


Tribune Sports Reporter


AS the NCAA Division I college basketball season winds down, several Bahamian student athletes clinched conference regular season titles ahead of the postseason.

Nathan Bain and the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks continue to be one of the most talked about stories this season and have been dominant ever since their record-setting upset over the Duke Blue Devils in November.

The Lumberjacks' season of milestones continued when they claimed the Southland Conference regular season title outright and the top overall seed in the upcoming conference tournament with Saturday's 95-76 win over the Lamar Cardinals.

Bain finished with 10 points, five rebounds and a team-leading five assists. All five Lumberjack starters and six players overall scored in double figures. With the win, the Lumberjacks improved to 26-3 overall and 17-1 in the Southland Conference. As the top overall seed, SFA will have an opening round bye in the conference tournament.

Bain's five assists led an SFA team that produced 19 assists on 37 made field goals.

They return to the court tonight against Abilene Christian in their final regular season road contest.

It was a complete turnaround from last season when SFA finished in a tie for ninth place in the final version of the conference standings.

The Lumberjacks missed out on a spot in the conference tournament for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

Charles Bain has had a reduced role this season with the Robert Morris Colonials but the programme clinched the No. 1 spot in the Northeast Conference tournament.

Robert Morris concluded its 2019-20 regular season Saturday with a 78-68 victory over Saint Francis. With the win, the Colonials clinched their second consecutive winning season, and improved to 17-4 overall, 13-5 in the NEC.

Bain finished with seven points and five rebounds. "A great team effort from our guys, on both sides of the ball," Colonials head coach Andrew Toole said. "That's what you need if you're going to beat a team like Saint Francis. I thought we really did as well as we could to control the tempo of the game. They're so good in transition and on the break. Our guys had a maximum amount of urgency tonight to get the win."

Robert Morris opens the 2020 NEC Tournament on Wednesday, March 4, with a first round matchup at home against St Francis Brooklyn at 7pm.

In a season series split, each team recorded lopsided wins at home.

Bain scored eight points in a 78-52 victory on January 9.

In the second meeting, St Francis won 78-57 on January 23. Bain struggled from the field and shot just 1-8 from the field.

Last season, Robert Morris posted a record of 17-16 and the Colonials finished in a tie for third place in the Northeast Conference with a mark of 11-7.

The Colonials fell in the semi-finals of the Northeast Conference Tournament 62-60 to No. 2 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

The postseason run ended when they were eliminated in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

Bain finished with the first double double of his career - 14 points and 10 rebounds.

In women's basketball, Ole Miss Rebels head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin will lead her team to the Southeastern conference tournament.

Ole Miss will play the Missouri Tigers in the first round of the 2020 SEC Tournament on Wednesday March 4, with tip-off slated for 25 minutes following the Auburn-Vanderbilt game which tips off at 11am local time.

The Rebels have struggled this season at a record of 7-22 and mired in a 16-game losing streak.

The Tigers won both previous matchups this season against Missouri - 71-57 on January 19 and most recently, 87-62 on February 23.


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