HOBBS, N.M. (Dec. 1, 2012) -- Lo'Ron Smith led the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's basketball team to a 90-86 victory over the University of the Southwest on Saturday evening in Hobbs, N.M.
The win moves the Saints to 3-4 on the season and 2-0 in the Red River Athletic Conference, while Southwest drops to 3-2 and 0-1 in the conference.
Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham said, "Like all road games, it was good to steal one in Hobbs. We need to have a much better effort tonight against Texas Wesleyan to get two on this trip, but our main focus is improvement."
The Mustangs led once during the first half when a little more than a minute had passed after tip-off. The Saints took over and controlled the period with their highest advantage of 13 points with two minutes before the buzzer. Both Smith and Robert Martinez led the offense with 10 points each, while the Saints' defense had forced 16 turnovers.
The Saints continued their dominance through the first part of the second half until a 3-pointer from Mustangs' Curtis Thompson Jr. tied the score at 78. USW went on an 8-0 run and led by as much as six points. The Saints shot several 3-pointers, including those from Eddie Ortiz and Smith to push them back to a two-point lead at 88-86 with 25 seconds left in the game. The Saints scored the last two points on free throws to give them the 90-86 win.
OLLU shot 43 percent from the field, including 40 percent from 3-point range and 56 percent from the charity stripe. Southwest shot 48 percent from the field, 47 percent from 3-point range and 61 percent from the free throw line. The Saints forced 25 turnovers while giving the ball up 18 times.
Smith scored 23 points, including 8-of-13 from the field, 4-of-5 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 free throws. He also added five rebounds. Both Martinez and Mike Brown scored 12 points, with Martinez adding three assists and two steals, and Brown adding four rebounds. Marcus Thompson recorded seven assists and two steals.
Southwest's high scorer was Curtis Thompson Jr., who finished with 19 points. Josh Quintero had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
The Saints are in Fort Worth tonight to face Texas Wesleyan University. The Rams are currently 1-0 in the conference and 6-1 overall.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click here: www.championsofcharacter.org.
Luis A. Lárraga
Sports Information Assistant