Photo courtesy of UC MercedPhoto courtesy of UC Merced

UC MERCED, CA – The University of California, Merced men’s basketball team just couldn’t make the late-game run they were looking for on the road against Simpson University Thursday. After leading 31-28 at halftime, UC Merced found itself on the wrong end of a 73-61 conference loss.

Ben Nguyen and Joshua Kimble led the way offensively with 11 points each. Nguyen added six assists.

After taking a small lead into halftime, the Bobcats came out uncharacteristically flat to start the second half, giving up a 10-0 run to start the final 20 minutes. A three-pointer by Alex Del Real would prove to be the only bucket the team would score for the first four minutes untilMatt Laflin scored at the 15:57 mark. After that make though, the Bobcats were already facing a steep hill, trailing 44-37.

Ultimately that hill would never get any easier to climb, as the team wouldn’t get within ten points for the rest of the game.

It was an odd game statistically for the Bobcats, with an unusually high number of turnovers, and several wide-open three-point misses that usually result in points for the team.

The team will put this game in their rearview and start gearing up for their game this Saturday. That matchup puts them on the road against Pacific Union College, with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 PM.

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