by RENALDO

We had high hopes for a title run headed into this year’s  Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, but after day one, both hometown Bahamian heroes are relegated to the consolation round.

“The Promise” delivered, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his Arizona Wildcats from being the second ranked team to fall while Coleby’s homecoming for Western Kentucky was spoiled by the No.5 ranked team in the country.

DeAndre Ayton finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs, but the No.2 ranked Wildcats lost to the unranked North Carolina State Wolfpack, 90-84 last night at the Imperial Arena.

The freshman forward shot 7-12 from the field, 12-17 from the free throw one and made one of his four field goal attempts.

Ayton scored 16 in the first half controlled by NC State and both teams were tied at 40 headed into intermission.

Led by Ayton’s big night, Arizona outscored NC State 44-36 in the paint and 16-6 in second chance points. As good as they were in the interior they were equally as bad on the perimeter and shot just 11 percent (2-17) from beyond the arch. The Wolfpack shot 8-20 from three.

It was the first loss of the season for Arizona (3-1) while the Wolfpack remain undefeated at 5-0.

Coleby finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers suffered a 66-58 loss to the Villanova Wildcats in game two on the opening day of the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis presented by Bad Boy Mowers.

He shot 6-10 from the floor and added two steals.

Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury made light of his graduate transfer’s production in his return home.

“I can guarantee this is the first double-double he’s ever put up at home,” Stansbury said jokingly. “He’s improving. Although he is a fifth-year senior, there is not a lot of in-game experience there. He missed a year and then averaged just one point at Kansas. When he first started with us, he used to be so excited to score that he’d travel a lot. He just wasn’t used to having the ball thrown to him as we’re feeding him. So he still has some work to do, but we are asking him to do a lot and play a lot of minutes. By the time the year is done, if he continues at this pace, he’s going to be a load.”

Villanova, which won Battle 4 Atlantis in 2013, got off to another good start in 2017 by pulling away in the second

The Wildcats remain undefeated on the season at 4-0 while the Hilltoppers fell to 2-2.

A shorthanded WKU dressed just eight players in the contest. Coleby’s first basket came at the 16-minute mark with a layup to give the Hilltoppers a 6-5 lead early on.

Villanova led by only a single point, 34-33, five minutes into the second half. Then they went on a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to make the score 48-35, and the margin remained in double digits until the final seconds. Jalen Brunson’s three brought the Wildcat crowd to its feet and sparked a run that decided the game late.

“They find ways to have spurts and make runs, and that’s what they did there in the second half,” Stansbury said “I’m really proud of our team’s effort, but I’m disappointed with the way we kind of let the game get away from us in the second half.”

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