ALEXANDRIA, La. (LSUA) - Alexandria, La. – On a night where the the #1 LSUA men’s basketball team couldn’t miss, the Generals survived one big Texas College run and then put the hammer down in the second half for a comfortable 119-92 win over the Steers Saturday night at The Fort.
LSUA couldn’t have asked for a better start, scoring the game’s first 16 points to open up a 16-0 lead as JaMichael Brown grabbed a rebound and went all the way down the floor for a lay-up with 14:40 left. Just four minutes later, the lead was at 20 points as William Claiborne found Phillip Rankin, Jr. underneath for an easy two points and a 25-5 LSUA advantage with less than 11 minutes remaining before halftime.
However, after an exchange of three-point plays by the two teams to make it 28-8 LSUA with just under nine minutes left before halftime, things started to bog down for the Generals and Texas College made its big run to get back in the game. Over the next 6:15, the Steers outscored the Generals 28-10, and when Trevon Donnell made a three-pointer with 2:30 left, the LSUA lead that had been 20 was down to just two points at 38-36. Over the remainder of the first half, LSUA slowly beefed the lead back up, getting a Devin Jackson free throw with 18 seconds left before the break to give the Generals a 50-41 lead as the two teams went into the halftime locker room.
The Generals started the second half nearly as well as they started the game, opening the period on a 15-3 run to grow the lead above 20 points for the first time as a Jordan Adebutu three-pointer gave LSUA a 65-44 advantage just less than three minutes into the second stanza.
With the Steers unable to cut into that lead over the next five minutes, it was just a matter of time before the comfortable lead turned into a blowout. That moment came with 12:40 remaining in the contest as JaMichael Brown again beat everyone down the floor and got to the rim for a lay-up to give LSUA an 81-60 lead, kick starting a 13-0 Generals run that Chris Osten finished with an alley oop slam off a pass from Brandon Ellis that gave the Generals a 92-60 lead with 9:35 left in the contest for LSUA’s largest lead of the contest. The Generals cruised from that point on to the finish to collect their third straight victory.
“I saw a lot of progress from our guys tonight,” said LSUA head coach Larry Cordaro. “Our effort out of the gate was really off the charts tonight, perhaps they were inspired by some of the former Generals who joined us tonight for alumni night and wanted to put on a show for those guys and our home fans since this is our last home game until 2019. Now we just need to build on tonight’s success and start to put it together for a full 40 minutes. We still have a long way to go to get to where we want to be, but tonight I saw great improvement from some of our previous games.”
Five Generals finished in double figure points, led by Jordan Adebutu’s 24 points on nine makes in 11 attempts from the field, including six of eight from above the arc, in just 23:30 of playing time. Phillip Rankin, Jr. came off the bench to collect 19 points as he hit eight of his ten shot attempts while also grabbing seven rebounds and was credited with a blocked shot. William Claiborne had only one miss in nine shots to compile a stat line of 17 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. JaMichael Brown again flirted with a triple-double, collecting his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 assists to go along with seven rebounds and a steal. Brown’s 13 assists tied his own LSUA single game record, which he set earlier this season in the first game against Dillard. While not his best shooting night, Mikkel Norment still found a way to finish the game with ten points, convert eight of the ten free throw attempts he earned, while also dropping four dimes and coming up with a steal.
LSUA shot so well in the first half that converting 52.4% of their shots in the second half only dropped their full game shooting percentage down to 59.2%. After hitting 20 of 29 shots in the first 20 minutes, the Generals finished the game with 42 made buckets on 71 shot attempts, including 11 made threes in 24 tries from distance for a shooting percentage of 45.8% from beyond the arc. While turnovers helped keep Texas College (3-13, 1-3 RRAC) in the game in the first half, the Generals took better control of the ball in the second half, committing just four miscues in the final 20 minutes. For their part, the Steers shot 44.4% in the contest and hit 17 three-point attempts at a 56.7% clip, which helped keep them in the game. LSUA dominated the glass, 46-30, including 14 offensive rebounds in the second half alone, finishing the game with 17 offensive rebounds in the game.
#1 LSUA (11-2, 3-1 RRAC) now heads on the road to finish out the 2018 calendar year with a pair of pre-Christmas non-conference games this week. On Wednesday, the Generals head up to Little Rock for a contest against Philander Smith. Tip-off against the Panthers (2-10) is set for 5:00 P.M. in Crawford Mims Gymnasium.