SPARTANBURG. S.C. — Converse put together a rally in the second half, but the 25th-ranked UNC Pembroke men’s basketball team shot 51.9% from the field on the way to a 73-58 victory against the Valkyries on Saturday afternoon inside the Tom & Tracy Hannah Gym.

The victory for the Braves (21-5, 15-2 CC) have now won their last five games and improve to 6-0 all-time against Converse. The setback for the Valkyries (17-10, 9-8 CC) marks the program’s second consecutive loss and are now 9-5 when playing at home.

UNC Pembroke shot 46.4% from the floor in the first half and took an early 10-2 lead following a layup from Javonte Waverly at the 15:15 mark. The Braves pushed their lead out to 22-11 after a 12-9 run capped off with an old-fashioned 3-point play from Cortez Marion-Holmes with 10:39 left to play in the opening half. Converse worked its deficit back to 24-19 via a layup from Malcolm Morgan with 7:31 on the clock, but a 12-0 run would give UNCP its largest lead of the contest, 36-19 with just over two minutes left in the frame, and the Braves led 37-25 at intermission.

The Valkyries cut their deficit back to 40-33 with a C.J. Jamison layup, but Nygell Verdier cushioned the UNCP lead, 42-33, five minutes into the half. The hosts put together an 11-2 run to knot the score at 44 apiece, but the Braves scored the next four points to take a 48-44 lead with just under 12 minutes left to play in regulation. Converse took its first lead, 49-48, with a running layup from Malcolm Morgan, but UNC Pembroke would push its lead out to 53-51 with nine minutes on the clock. The Black & Gold put together a 16-2 run over a nearly a seven-minute span to extend their lead for good.

Bradlee Haskell finished with a team-best 17 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The junior pulled down a pair of rebounds and had a steal and an assist in 36 minutes of action.

Verdier tallied 13 points after a 6-for-11 shooting night. The junior nearly registered a double-double with eight rebounds.

JaJuan Carr added 11 points, while Elijah Cobb pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds.

The Braves limited Converse to 44.7% shooting on Saturday which marked the Valkyries worst shooting performance in the last four games.

The Black & Gold posted a 44-30 advantage with points in the paint.

UNCP scored 25 points from its bench, as all five players who came off of the bench scored.

The Braves will welcome Chowan to Pembroke on Wednesday for the final game of the regular season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court. Tickets can be purchased at