(Photo Courtesy: Brian Ramsey UAM Communications)
CLEVELAND, Miss. (UAM) Senior Dayton Mickens scored 20 points to lead the University of Arkansas at Monticello men's basketball team to a 70-63 season-opening win over Eckerd College on Saturday at the Down in the Delta Challenge.
Mickens finished the night 9-for-11 from the field, including making 2-of-3three-pointers. He also added four rebounds and two blocked shots in the win.
The Weevils (1-0) hovered around the 45 percent mark for the majority of the contest, making 46 percent of their shots in the first half and 44 percent in the second half to end the night at 44.6 percent (25-for-56).
The Tritons (0-1) scored the game's first two points on a pair of free throws, but the Weevils answered and held the lead throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half, leading by as much as seven points during that span following a 10-1 scoring run capped by a D'Audrio Patton layup at the 15:03 mark to put the Weevils up 10-3. The Tritons responded with a 14-4 run to take a three-point lead with 8:37 remaining in the opening half.
UAM used a 12-0 run late in the first quarter to grab a double-digit lead of 11 points with just over four minutes remaining before halftime. That run was capped by a three-pointer from senior Jared Harrison. The Weevils led 35-26 at halftime.
Eckerd trimmed UAM's lead to three points in the early part of the second half following an 8-2 run. The Tritons took its first lead of the second half with 8:30 remaining in regulation and extended that lead to as much as six points two minutes later on a three-pointer by E.J. Moody.
The Weevils quickly responded with an 11-0 run to regain the lead for the final time. Eckerd never trimmed UAM's lead to below three points throughout the final five minutes.
In addition to Mickens' game-high 20 points, Harrison and senior Brandon Wilson also reached double digits in scoring with 11 points each. Juniors Brandon Sims and Kenric McCants added eight points each.
Eckerd finished the game with a 35-34 edge in rebounding, while UAM finished plus two in the turnover margin at 9-11.
The Tritons shot 41 percent from the field (20-for-49), 27 percent on three-pointers (3-for-11) and 71 percent on foul shots (20-for-28). Jerrick Stevenson and Alex Bodney led Eckerd with 11 points each.
The Weevils conclude play in the Down in the Delta Challenge on Sunday against Florida Southern. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.