By: Andre Fountain
The Trojans’ men’s basketball team looked to redeem themselves against Cheyney University on Saturday, November 17, after losing to Fairmont State in the home opener but again fell short in a 64-72 lost.
The Trojans started off the game slow with a couple of careless turnovers to go along with some easy shot attempts missed. However, the Trojans were able to make some key defensive stops, resulting in gaining some offensive momentum. Midway through the first half, VSU’s Jacolby Wells (Sr./Emporia, VA) sparked the offense greatly with a two-handed jam. On the next play, an easy transition three was made by Khalil Tate (Jr./Washington, DC) off a pass from point guard DeVonte’ Williams (So./Hampton, VA). This array of plays helped the Trojans cut into the Cheyney lead, but the Trojans trailed Cheyney by six points at the half, 28-34.
Key players, after one half of play for the Trojans, were center Kenny Mitchell (Sr./Atlanta, GA) who scored 9 points (3-4 FG) and grabbed 3 reboundss, and guard Khalil Tate who was the spark off the bench scoring 9 points.
In the second half, the Trojans came out with more assertiveness than in the first half. The Trojans started to force turnovers which got the crowd elevating the team’s intensity. After a Kenny Mitchell basket tied the game at 35-35, VSU’s Shawn Porter stole a Cheyney pass and took it coast to coast but was fouled. Next, a technical foul was called on one of Cheyney’s players, which sent point guard Mike Bynum (Sr./Norfolk, VA) to the foul line for two shots. He made both and the Trojans took a 37-35 lead. The Trojans continued to roll in the next couple of plays as Mike Bynum saw a back door, cutting Khalil Tate and dished the rock off for an easy two points; this increased the lead to four points.
Cheyney answered back quickly with a couple of baskets to regain the lead. For the remainder of the game, both teams went back and forth with the lead for a while until Cheyney was able to hold on to the lead controllably and close out the Trojans.
Khalil Tate gave a great effort for the Trojans scoring a game-high 22 points in 30 minutes of action. Kenny Mitchell was the second leading scorer for the Trojans scoring 13 and Shawn Porter scored 8 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Trojans will try to get their first win of the season again at home against Virginia-Lynchburg on Friday, November 23 at the 5th Annual Chick-Fil-A Classic in Daniel Gymnasium.