Eagles Fall on Opening Night
WILMORE, Ky. – A second-half comeback was not in the cards for the Eagles as the men dropped their season opener for the fifth consecutive year, 79-68 to Wilberforce University (Ohio). The Eagles have dropped four straight home openers as well.
The game swayed back and forth much of the first half, with six ties and eight lead changes. The Eagles (0-1) would lead for a total of 10:54 in the first half, but would never lead in the second. Asbury would tie the game out of the half at 36-36, but the Bulldogs would take the lead back on a jumper by Ronald Hightower just 18 seconds later, and would never surrender it back.
Wilberforce’s Darius Foster and Chris Olafioye proved to be forces against the Eagles, scoring 21 and 18 points respectively. Foster knocked down 3-of-7 from three-point range and nine-of-19 from the floor. Olafioye connected on seven-of-13 from the floor and hit on four-of-five from the free throw line.
The Eagles could not get it going on the inside on the night, despite starting forwards Dakotah Euton and Justin Jones scoring 13 and 10 points. The duo combined to shoot 9-of-25 from the floor. Euton was three-of-six from long range but Asbury scored only 16 points in the paint, Wilberforce scored 34. Jones would also grab a game-high nine rebounds.
Asbury was able to stay in the game in the first half thanks in large part to their three-point shooting. The Eagles knocked down seven-of-17 from distance in the first half but were only four-of-12 in the second. Austin Flannery connected on four from long range in the game and finished with 15 points. Brock Hurtle and Shawn Brauner each hit two from beyond the arc.
Wilberforce pulled down 43 rebounds, including 14 offensive that led to 17 second-chance points, on the night but no one grabbed more than six. Five players had at least five rebounds and the Bulldogs were led by Yann Sani’s six. Asbury grabbed 33 rebounds including 12 offensive, but could only turn those into six points.
Asbury will host the Asbury Classic on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night. The Eagles will take on WVU-Parkersburg on Friday at 8 p.m. and Bluefield at 8 p.m. on Saturday.