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Friday, 05 February 2016 09:07


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UC MERCED - The magic the University of California, Merced men's basketball team found this past Saturday eluded them Thursday night, as the team fell to visiting University of Antelope Valley 81-67.

Aaron Laflin recorded his second consecutive double-double to pace the Bobcats, finishing with 23 points and 11 assists on 9-19 shooting and 3-6 from deep. Reggie Nelson and Matt Laflin also finished in double-digits in points, combining for 22 in the loss.

UC Merced came out of the gate a little flat, not scoring for nearly two and a half minutes to start the game. Once the team got their first bucket, via a Branson Garcia three-pointer, they seemed to gain their rhythm. The team erased an early 5-0 deficit and quickly gained the lead 8-7.

The Bobcats kept the game within four points for nearly the entirety of the first ten minutes of the game, but around the 10-minute mark of the first half, the Pioneers started to hit their stride. The visitors gained a double-digit lead with 8:38 remaining in the first, and that would almost be the closest the Bobcats would get for the rest of the game.

UC Merced cut the lead to just nine briefly towards the end of the first half on a Nelson free-throw, but the lead would jump back up to double-digits just a few seconds later and ultimately remain there for the rest of the game.

The home team cut the lead to just ten points on several occasions in the second half, but every time it appeared they were taking the momentum, the Pioneers would hit a timely bucket to silence the crowd.

The team's shooting percentages were nothing to frown over, as they finished the game with a 38% clip from the floor. They also won the turnover battle 11-9. Unfortunately it was UAV's consistency from the floor that forced the defeat, as they ended the game shooting 58% from the floor and 64% from long range.

The Bobcats won't have much time to dwell over the loss, as they play again this Saturday. That matchup will be against visiting La Sierra University and will come at a later time than usual, with tip scheduled for 8:30 PM.

STORY LINK - http://www.ucmercedbobcats.com/article/719.php

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