AUSTIN, TEXAS (Dec. 8, 2012) -- Lo''Ron Smith scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's basketball team to a 111-83 win over Huston-Tillotson University on Saturday afternoon.
The win moves the Saints to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in the Red River Athletic Conference, while Huston-Tillotson drops to 2-7 and 1-4 in conference.
Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham said, "Our main objective this time of year is to improve. We had a good week of preparation, and I thought our men carried over the game plan to the game. I told them a goal without a plan is called a wish, and we need to stop wishing good things will happen and make them happen by following our plan."
Robert Martinez, (pictured at right) who is ranked third in the nation in 3-point field goals, started the game with a 3-pointer. The Saints launched their run-and-gun offense to completely dominate the period. By the 12th minute, the Saints took a double-digit lead at 24-14. An HTU timeout helped the Rams gain a little momentum, as they embarked on a 9-0 run to narrow the gap to three at 26-23. With less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Saints rebuilt their double-digit lead after a shot went in for Smith. The teams closed out the half with the Saints leading 56-42.
A 3-pointer from Rams' Calvin McGhee took his team to within seven at 65-58 in the second period. Smith reciprocated with his own 3-pointer to set off a 13-0 run for the Saints to give them the 78-58 lead. Martinez was assessed a technical call after he clapped, and. HTU's Jonathan Douglas made one of two foul shots. The Saints continued to build up their lead to 23 at 82-59. With less than three minutes remaining in the game, a basket by Virgil Cissoko gave the Saints their biggest lead of the game at 109-79. The game ended with the Saints winning 111-83.
Smith's (pictured at left) 31 points included 11-of-20 from the field, 4-of-9 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Martinez scored 23 points and added four assists, three steals and four rebounds. Marcus Thompson finished with his first double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. He also had six steals and four rebounds. Trent Cox scored 12 points, while AJ Govan had 10.
The Saints shot 51 percent from the field, including 45 percent from 3-point range and 92 percent from the free throw line. The Rams shot 42 percent from the field, 22 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the free throw line. They gave the ball up 27 times, while forcing the Saints to 21 turnovers.
The Saints will continue their conference schedule on Saturday, when they host Jarvis Christian College at 4 p.m.
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