Rainey’s 27 leads LSUA to win over Southeastern Baptist in opener

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:12 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A.J. Rainey scored 27 points in his first game, leading the LSUA men’s basketball team to a 97-73 win in its opener against Southeastern Baptist on Tuesday evening at The Fort.

Playing in its first packed arena in two years, the Generals broke open a five-point game in the second half with a 21-8 run, beginning with a bucket and foul by freshman Christian Coleman. Six different Generals scored in the key stretch to build the 18-point advantage.

“Our players made big plays and gave the crowd something to get excited about,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “It was great to get everyone back in The Fort.

Thank you to (LSUA Baseball Coach) Kody Gautreaux and all his players for coming out. The baseball players have been doing that since we began and it’s great to get them back in here.”

LSUA (1-0) maintained its perfect record in openers, improving to 8-0. The Generals also improve to 3-0 all-time against SBC (0-3).

During a key second-half stretch, LSUA scored on nine of 10 possessions to build an 81-61 lead and the Generals coasted from there, as SBC couldn’t cut it closer than 16 the rest of the way.

“My transition offense was really working,” Rainey said. As soon as we got the rebound, we were pushing the ball and I was able to score a number of layups off that.”

Jevon Berry and Casey made consecutive 3-pointers during the extended run that helped spark the Generals and climb them out of an offensive rut.

“We fed off the energy from the crowd,” Smith said. “It was good to be back at The Fort again. There’s nothing like being at home. It was nice to be out with my boys again. They set up those shots for me.”

Berry scored an efficient 10 points on just five shot attempts, going 4-of-5 and draining the one triple.

As a team, LSUA shot 6-of-14 from deep, while SBC made 7-of-19 3-pointers.

The lead swelled to a game-high 26 after a bucket by freshman guard Harrison Black before SBC’s Jacobi York buried a triple to cut it to 23.

York, SBC’s leading scorer going into the contest, was held to just seven points on six shot attempts.

Both teams shot the lights out in the first half, as LSUA shot 57.7 percent compared to SBC’s 562.2 percent.

Smith dropped a pair of triples in the first half, scoring 12 of his 17 points. Larry Holmes, Jr. poured in 12 of his team-high 22 points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Generals shot 63.6 percent from the field in the game, including 69 percent in the second half.

In addition to Rainey’s 27 points, he also grabbed six rebounds and dished out a game-high five assists.

Joe Lewis nearly recorded a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 boards.

As a team, the Generals dominated the glass, winning 36-20.

In his first game, freshman Christian Coleman was a huge factor, scoring 11 points on just seven shots, grabbing four rebounds, blocking two shots and altering many more attempts.

Nine players scored for LSUA with seven dropping in at least eight points.

LSUA continues its three-game home stretch to begin the year with games against North American on Nov. 5 and 6 before heading to Texas for a two-game stretch against East Texas Baptist and an exhibition against Division I opponent Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 8 and 9, respectively.

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