Men’s basketball drops home opener

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Men’s basketball drops home opener

Mason Brooks, Managing Editor

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On Thursday, November 8, the University of Hartford men’s basketball team played their home-opener at the Reich Family Pavilion. They tipped-off against Winthrop University at 7:00 pm for what would turn out to be an exciting matchup.

The Hawks got out to a fast start, sprinting to a 4-0 lead through the contest’s first few possessions. However, this would be Hartford’s biggest lead of the night as the Winthrop Eagles overcame it quickly, and proceeded to go on an impressive run, bringing the score to 28-12 with 5:26 remaining in the half. When it looked like the Hawks might have just run out of steam, freshman guard Moses Flowers threw down an emphatic dunk 30 seconds later to pump life back into the arena. Fans went wild, and the energy on and off the court was electric with loud chanting and cheering roaring from the crowd. Hartford rode this momentum all the way to the close of the half when sophomore Hunter Miles hit a buzzer-beating, three point shot in the face of a Winthrop defender to bring the score to 34-28. Even with a six-point deficit at this point, the Hawks had a clear edge in momentum heading into the locker room after a strong finish to the first half.

Hartford kept the gas pedal pressed down as they came out of halftime firing. It looked as though the Hawks would complete a massive comeback from the first half as they traded blows with Winthrop in the beginning of the second period. Hartford even regained the lead with a precise three from freshman D.J. Winthrop at 10:42 mark in the second. However, with fans once again on their feet, this would be the last time the Hawks possessed the advantage for the remainder of the game.

Winthrop assumed control of the contest, and although Hartford was able to chip away here and there, the Eagles shut the door on any hope the Hawks had as they closed the game with an 11-3 run. The final score after all was said and done in this one was 67-57 in favor of Winthrop University. Though they took the loss, there were some bright spots for the University of Hartford men’s basketball team.

The Hawks had impressive showings from their young players. Freshmen Mirolav Stafl and Moses Flowers both put up double-digit point totals for the first time this season. Freshman PJ Henry was not far behind them shooting 4-9 from the field. Hunter Marks, just a sophomore, also had an impressive outing, now scoring double digit points in two straight games to begin the young 2019-2020 season.

With Hartford’s four best performances coming from three freshmen and one sophomore, there is clear potential to be excited about. After this game, it looks as though this young core group of players will be able to build throughout the season with the support of the Hawk family behind them.

Hartford falls to 1-1 after their first loss of the season at home. Make sure to follow the University of Hartford men’s basketball team here, at The Informer, or at Hartfordhawks.com for more up to date scores and statistics.

IMAGE COURTESY OF HARTFORD SPORTS INFORMATION