22 Mens Basketball

Golden Bears Men's Basketball Continue To Jell

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Miles opened defense of its 2023 SIAC championship without its top three scorers. Add in injuries and graduation, the Golden Bears are missing more than half of the offensive production it received last season.

But a program that earned four consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II tournament don't go down without a fight. On Thursday night, Albany State got another reminder that the Golden Bears are quickly coming together and remain a serious contender for a fourth SIAC title in five seasons.

The Golden Bears had four players score in double figures, shot nearly 50 percent from the field, and controlled the glass and the ball en route to a 72-52 home win over the Golden Rams Thursday night. Miles (8-3, 3-2 SIAC West) has now won five straight against Albany State (5-8, 3-4 SIAC East), is 7-0 at Knox-Windham Gymnasium this season and has won 11 straight on its home floor.

Albany State stayed in the battle early, forging a tie at 20 after a Miles turnover was converted into a bucket by Andy Antoine with 5:07 left in the first half. But the Golden Bears defense turned up a notch in closing out the half, forcing two turnovers and five missed field goal attempts from the Golden Rams. Meanwhile, Miles kicked it into gear on the offensive end. Rylen Walker (five points) drained a 3-ball to put the Golden Bears in front for good. A Jarrell Rosser putback continued the run before Elijah Horton (12 points, five rebounds, five assists) closed it out with five straight points to push the halftime advantage to 30-20.

That is as close as Albany State would get for the remainder of the contest.

After trading buckets to start the second half, Miles used another scoring surge to take any anxiety out of the final outcome. Mykayle Carter (11 points, four rebounds) , Horton, and Tyrese Myrick hit 3-balls on consecutive possessions that closed out a 13-0 run which gave Miles a 47-23 lead less than five minutes into the second half. The Golden Rams never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.