KANSAS CITY, MO. – The University of Arkansas at Monticello Men’s Basketball team is in Kansas City, Missouri to open up their 2022-23 season at the Central Region Challenge, hosted by Pittsburg State. The Weevils took on the 18th-ranked Vikings of Augustana University (SD) and came up just short, 68-67, in buzzer beater fashion.
Newcomer Mario Fantina led the way for Arkansas-Monticello (0-1) with 17 points, going 7-19 on field goals and 3-11 on shots from three-point range. He also contributed four rebounds in his 40 minutes played.
Both Isaac Jackson and Edwin Louis each contributed 13 points each. Jackson went 5-11 on field goals, 1-2 on threes, and 2-2 on free throws with five rebounds. Louis was 5-6 on the afternoon for field goals, 2-3 on threes, and 1-2 on shots from the line while give the Weevils six defensive rebounds.
Timur Krupalija put up 12 points of his own in the match, going 6-9 on field goals and giving UAM a team leading eight rebounds in the match.
Augustana (1-0) was led by Isaac Fink and Ryan Miller with 18 and 17 points.
“Outside of turnovers and giving uo offensive boards, I thought we were competitive against a really well coached, good basketball team”, said UAM Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chad Tapp. “We let one slip away, but we’ve got a lot of things to get better at.”
The first half of the match was an absolute thrilling display of basketball, as the lead was swapped five different times. Augustana was the first team to put points on the board, but were quickly overtaken by the Weevils as they regained control of the game thanks to a combined effort from Timur Krupalija and Isaac Jackson. Although the Vikings fell back behind, they would stay on the Monticello heels for the remainder of the half. As the half continued, we saw UAM go 48% on field goals. They would hit 15 out of 31 attempts, as well was 4-9 on three-point shots. Augustana pushed back, taking the lead back from UAM on a fastbreak jumper with 1:06 left on the clock. The Vikings would hold on to that lead for the remainder of the half. The Weevils were able to put up 36 points throughout the entirety, down 39-36 as the two teams would head into the locker room.
The second half proved to be an impressive display of basketball, with a back and forth fight between Augustana and Arkansas-Monticello. The Vikings took the first points, but the Weevils tied the score at 42-42 two minutes into the half. With 7:46 on the clock, Monticello would take back the lead for the final time. The game would once again be tied as the Vikings hit a layup with 1:32 on the clock to make it 65-65. With no time remaining on the clock, and after missing a second free throw, Augustana would recover the ball and score a jump shot to win the match 68-67.
Arkansas-Monticello committed 14 turnovers in the entirety of the match.
The Weevils return to the court in Kansas City tomorrow, November 12 at 1:00 p.m. to take on St. Cloud State University, before returning to Steelman Field House to face Ecclesia College on Thursday, November 17.
How to follow the Weevils: For more information on Arkansas-Monticello Men’s Basketball, visit www.uamsports.com and follow the team’s social media channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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