ALEXANDRIA, La. -- On a record breaking night, the #17 LSUA men’s basketball team scored the game’s first ten points and cruised to a 111-78 win over the Texas College Steers Saturday night in The Fort, making the program and head coach Larry Cordaro the quickest to 100 wins in NAIA history, doing so in just 113 games.
Jaslyn Gregory/LSUA Media Club
LSUA immediately jumped on Texas College, getting a three from Shannon James, Jr. on the game’s first possession. James would also end the opening 10-0 run as he drove to the paint and got to the rim for a lay-up and the 10-0 lead just 2:30 into the game. That opening lead would get up to 12 points off of a Brandon Moss three pointer that made the score 16-4 just more than four minutes into the contest.
Texas College would make one fleeting attempt at getting back into the contest, going on a 5-1 push to get back within eight points after a pair of Nathaniel Francis free throws made the score 17-9 Generals.
However, that would be the final time the Steers would be within single digits of the Generals. Two possessions later, Chris Vickers would dial up long distance and connect to start LSUA on a 12-0 run, culminating with a Bradley Savoy four-point play with 9:25 left in the half to make it 29-9 Generals. LSUA’s largest lead of the first half would end up at 23 points, which they got with just less than 3:30 left in the half as Vickers grabbed a rebound and raced down the court, beating the Steer defense for a lay-up and a 48-25 Generals advantage. LSUA would eventually take a 55-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Vickers continued his hot shooting into the second half, as his three pointer about a minute into the period put the Generals lead back above 20 points at 60-38, and the lead would not fall under 20 points again in the contest. With LSUA up 64-43, another Vickers three started a 15-4 Generals push that ended as Trent Brinkley, making his first appearance of the season, lobbed the ball to Brandon Moss who slammed it home to push the lead above 30 points for the first time at 79-47.
Texas College would answer a bit, as a pair of free throws started a 7-0 Steer run, which was capped by a pair of Patrick Petty free throws that made the score 79-54. But any Texas College hope of getting back in contact with the Generals was quickly erased and when Vickers drained another three pointer 6:30 to go in the contest, the score moved to 96-64 and the lead wouldn’t fall below 30 points again.
The Generals got their largest lead of the game in the closing seconds as Nathan Bailey drained back-to-back triples to extend the lead out to 111-73 before the Steers got some window-dressing buckets before the horn.
“I want to thank all of the former players and coaches who helped build this foundation and get us to this mark so quickly,” said LSUA head coach Larry Cordaro, who also became the fastest coach to 100 wins in NAIA history, and got there faster than the likes of Adolph Rupp by three games and Jim Boeheim by four. “I’m very proud of our program and what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, though we still have a long way to go to get the ultimate goal we’ve set for ourselves.”
As for the Saturday evening’s game, the newly-engaged Cordaro continued, “We did a very good job offensively, and it was nice putting up 111 points for the second straight game. Defensively, I felt we could’ve done a few things better, but I’m happy with the effort and contributions from everyone wearing a LSUA uniform tonight. These first 100 wins have been satisfying, but now it’s time to focus on trying to get win 101. We have a very tough road stretch coming over the next two weeks. We have to get some guys healthy and be ready to face the challenges ahead.”
Chris Vickers blew away his old career high of 20 points, finishing Saturday’s game with 30 points on 11 of 17 shooting, including six of 11 on three point attempt, while also grabbing eight rebounds. Brandon Moss flirted with a triple-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for his team leading fourth double-double, while also finishing with seven assists on the evening. Shannon James, Jr. finished the night with 13 points while Bradley Savoy got into double figures for the first time in his career with 11 points.
The Generals defense held Texas College (5-11, 1-6 RRAC) to 35.8% shooting in the contest, including 30.0% from above the arc. LSUA grabbed 17 more rebounds in the game than the Steers, while also scoring 14 more points in the paint. The story was the same from long range, where LSUA hit 14 three point field goals, compared to six for Texas College. For the game, LSUA shot 56.9% overall and a staggering 53.8% from the land of plenty.
#17 LSUA (14-4, 6-1 RRAC) begins their longest road trip of conference on Friday, beginning the four-game road swing in Austin, Texas against Huston-Tillotson. Tip-off against the Rams (5-7, 4-3 RRAC) is set for 7:30 P.M. in Mary Branch Gymnasium.