Wildcats take home Rhodes Tip-Off title

By  | 

MEMPHIS, TN -- After their convincing win over host Rhodes College on Saturday, the Louisiana College men’s basketball team followed up with another steady performance on Sunday to win the Rhodes Tip-Off Tournament. The Wildcats pulled away in the second half from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to take the 74-62 win, their third victory in a row. LC will take on Southeastern Louisiana after a week break for Thanksgiving in an exhibition game in Hammond.

The Wildcats trailed through the early going of Sunday’s game, but only by a couple of possessions at a time. A trey from Lashard Powell at the 13:23 mark gave LC their first lead since the early seconds of the game at 15-14. After a three-pointer from Rose-Hulman tied the game at 25 later in the half, the Wildcats put together an 8-2 run that included a pair of long balls from Powell and Jaylen Rhone that gave them a six-point lead with 2:30 left in the half.

RHIT finished with a strong two and a half minute stretch but thanks to a pair of free throws from Kae’ron Baker and a layup from Trey Ames, LC held the slim 37-34 lead at the half. LC shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the first in one of the most evenly matched halves with another team this season.

The Wildcats came out hot in the second half, stretching their slim lead to 10 in just over two minutes of play. Powell started the half with an and-1 finish, which was followed by layups from Timothy Stokes and Rhone to put the Wildcats up 44-34 early in the second.

Rose would chip their way back within five a few minutes later, but it was a 15-6 LC run over a three minutes stretch that put the game squarely in the Wildcats hands. A basket by Rhone and a three from Travis Schultz started the barrage, which ended with another and-1, this time from Baker and LC led 69-51 with 3:36 left in the game. RHIT answered with an 11-0 stretch but the lead and the time left was not enough for them to overcome as LC made 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the 74-62 win.

The win is the Wildcats third in a row and matches the best start to a season since the 2013-14 season through four games. The Wildcats play an exhibition at Southeastern on November 26 before opening conference play at Hardin-Simmons on November 29 in Abilene.