Abney’s career-high 33 leads LSUA to win over North American
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LSUA) - Jakemin Abney poured in a career-high 33 points to lift the LSUA men’s basketball team to a 98-85 victory over North American on Friday afternoon at The Fort on the second day of a back-to-back against the same team.
After scoring 19 points on 11 shots in the first two games combined, the leading returning scorer reminded everyone what he can do, as Abney scored 33 on just 16 shot attempts, going 11-of-16, including 10-of-11 from inside the 3-point line.
“I was just driving and getting to the rack,” Abney said. “I was just being aggressive with my touches and was just at the right places at the right times.”
LSUA (3-0) has won its first three games by an average of 28.3 points per game, but after losing by 48 points on Thursday evening, NAU (3-7) kept the game within striking distance until the final minute.
The Stallions second-leading scorer Kiante Kizzie, who was held to just 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting on Thursday, but came back with a vengeance on Friday, ripping the nets to the tune of 37 points, including 24 in the second half, and grabbing 16 rebounds, both of which were game highs.
Kizzie recorded six steals as well.
“That is probably one of the best performances in the history of The Fort,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “(NAU) Coach (Frank) Higginbotham had his players ready to play and they played with perseverance today and pushed us to the final horn.”
NAU trailed by as many as 18 points, but cut the deficit to five on two occasions in the final three minutes on a three-point play by Jessie Cornell, finishing off an eight-point run to cut it to 85-80.
From that point forward, the LSUA defense limited Kizzie to just one shot attempt for the remainder of the game, a 3-point miss after the Generals had opened the lead back to 10.
Rainey hit two big buckets down the stretch, as the Generals embarked on a 9-0 run to turn a five-point lead into a double-digit lead.
“That’s my job as a point guard,” Rainey said. “I knew I just needed to take over the game.”
The Stallions kept it close in the first half, but the Generals, like on Thursday, went on a run late in the half to take control. On Friday, it was 10-0 run and extended 15-3 run to take their largest lead of the afternoon at 46-28 before taking a 46-32 lead into the locker room.
Joe Lewis recorded another double-digit rebounding effort for LSUA, grabbing 10 rebounds and scored seven points.
Christian Coleman nearly registered another double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Jevon Berry added 15.
After scoring 16 points on Thursday evening, Bishop Ozan scored 15 more in Friday’s contest.
“There’s a lot of learning that we can do, even from these wins,” Cordaro said. “Because we have tough competition coming up and we need to work to get better.”
The Generals have two days off before traveling to the state of Texas for two games in two days against East Texas Baptist on Monday and Division I opponent Stephen F. Austin before taking a week off.
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