Chaps pop Rogers State, stay on heels of Heartland leaders

Lubbock Christian University coach Todd Duncan frequently tells his team to confirm it: When you achieve something good, in practice or in a game, back it up with more good.

 

Coming off a victory Thursday against Heartland Conference leader Dallas Baptist, the LCU men backed it up Saturday with an 81-70 conquest of Rogers State at the Rip Griffin Center.

“We confirmed,” Duncan said.

Marcos Schuster, the hero of Thursday’s win with a career-high 29 points, made three 3-point goals in the first two-plus minutes. The Chaparrals put the Hillcats in a 32-14 hole by the middle of the first half and never let them closer than nine points from then on.

“That’s a pretty good week right there,” LCU center Brennen Fowler said after an 18-point, eight-rebound day. “Two big wins for us. They’re both great teams, and we just came out and played really hard. I was proud of us.”

LCU (12-12, 8-5) reached .500 for the first time all season, but has a lot to play for in the last two weeks of the regular season. The Chaps are one game behind the conference co-leaders — No. 21 Arkansas-Fort Smith (21-4, 9-4) and Newman (13-11, 9-4) — and one-half game back of No. 22 Dallas Baptist (19-5, 8-4), which won a non-conference game Saturday.

The Chaps host Newman on Thursday in the regular-season home finale.

“It’s really exciting,” said guard Isaac Asrat, who had 16 points, five rebounds and took two charging fouls. “I mean, we had some heartbreaks the last couple of weeks — at Fort Smith and (Texas A&M) International — but these two wins are big for us. Now we’re back in the loop for first place. That’s what we’re trying to get.”

Players who sparked LCU’s upset of DBU were strong again Saturday.

Schuster picked up where he left off scoring, and Kentton Williams came through with another timely performance. The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Levelland had 17 points and seven rebounds two days after his 16 against Dallas Baptist — two of his three highest-scoring games of the season. In the two games combined, he was 13 of 17 from the field, nearly all via aggressive drives to the basket and finishing in traffic.

“He’s got the killer look in his eye,” Fowler said. “He’s playing awesome.”

Rogers State (15-9, 6-6) beat LCU 70-55 in the first round of Heartland play, matching the Chaps’ widest margin of defeat this season. The Chaps have won six of eight since.

LCU made an 8-0 run midway through the first half. Back-to-back 3s from Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath and Asrat, then a dunk from Fowler prompted a Hillcats timeout at the 9:44 mark. At that point, LCU was 11 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.

That’s what Duncan had in mind.

“Coach texted us on Friday and said the word of the day was ‘confirm’: Confirm what we did Thursday. Carry it over into Saturday,” Fowler said. “And we did have a great start to the game. Meek (Schuster) came out shooting fireballs, so it was awesome.”

Chase Littlejohn, Saint Hilaire and Tate Turner scored 14, 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Rogers State. The Hillcats tried to really in the second half, but the Chaps kept answering. The gap was 54-42, but Williams responded with a three-point play and another basket for a 59-44 LCU lead.

When Rogers State crept to 60-49, two 3s from Asrat made it 66-50. And with LCU up 68-56, Fowler scored on three of the next four possessions, making it 74-58. The last bucket was a doozy: Fowler passed to Asrat on a back cut, and after Asrat misfired at the rim, Fowler was there for the follow dunk.

LCU 81, ROGERS STATE 70

ROGERS STATE — Hilaire 5-10 2-2 13, Leak 1-3 2-2 4, Loy 0-3 2-2 2, Turner 5-9 0-0 11, Smith 3-8 2-2 8, Davis 1-5 0-0 2, Peacock 3-9 2- 29, Littlejohn 5-10 1-3 14, Harness 3-3 0-1 7, Raney 0-0 0-0 0, Harkey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 11-14 70.

LCU — Schuster 4-11 4-4 15, Williams 5-6 7-7 17, Fowler 7-12 4-4 18, Asrat 5-12 1-2 16, Workman 0-4 4-4 4, Gilbreath 3-3 1-2 9, Lennox 1-2 0-0 2, Burrell 0-0 0-0 0, Proctor 0-0 0-0 0, Stepp 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-50 21-23 81.

Halftime score: LCU 45, Rogers State 31. 3-point goals: Rogers State 7-21 (Littlejohn 3-7, Hilaire 1-1, Harness 1-1, Turner 1-3, Peacock 1-5, Loy 0-1, Davis 0-1, Smith 0-2), LCU 10-21 (Asrat 5-8, Schuster 3-8, Gilbreath 2-2, Workman 0-1, Fowler 0-1, Lennox 0-1). Total fouls: Rogers State 20, LCU 15. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: Harness, Gilbreath. Rebounds: Rogers State 32 (Hilaire 4, Peacock 4), LCU 32 (Fowler 8). Assists: Rogers State 7 (Davis 3), LCU 13 (Schuster 5). Steals: Rogers State 9 (Leak 2, Davis 2), LCU 8 (Schuster 2, Asrat 2). Turnovers: Rogers State 15 (Hilaire 3, Davis 3, Littlejohn 3), LCU 12 (Asrat 3). Blocked shots: Rogers State 5 (Leak 2), LCU 3 (Schuster, Lennox, Proctor). Records: Rogers State 15-9, 6-6; LCU 12-12, 8-5.

 

More

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 18:02

LSV second team softball Super Team

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 17:51

LSV first team softball Super Team

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 14:21

LSV preseason softball Top 10