SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 14, 2013) -- Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's basketball team rolled to a 108-85 win over visiting Bacone College Monday evening.
The Saints improve to 10-7 overall and 8-3 in the Red River Athletic Conference, while Bacone remains winless in the conference at 0-9 and 2-13 overall. OLLU is ½ a game behind league-leader Southwestern Assemblies of God University (14-3/8-2) and ½ a game ahead of third-place Texas College (13-4/7-3) and LSU-Shreveport (11-4/7-3).
Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham said, "It's a great win for us, especially now when everyone's tough to beat. We just took advantage of every possession."
The Saints, the nation's leader in 3-point field goals, started the game appropriately from beyond the arc, but back-to-back misses from Robert Martinez and Lo'Ron Smith gave Bacone's Kwame Bates the opportunity to sink one of his own to take the first lead of the game. After a field goal from Marcus Thompson, Smith and Marcel Campos answered with three 3s in a row to tie the score at 11-11.
The Warriors continued to stay outside for their shooting as they took the 24-19 lead after 13 minutes. Their intensity kept the Saints at bay through the eighth minute, when the Saints tied the score at 31-31. From that point on, the Saints regained their composure to control the court. Outstanding plays from freshman Bridge Lavey, partnering with
Campos, kicked off a 6-0 run that gave the Saints the 40-33 lead. The Saints took their biggest lead of the half at 55-42 with 15 seconds left in the half, and a field goal from Bacone's TaMarcus Miles gave the Saints the 55-44 lead to end the period.
Bacone got to within eight points at the beginning of the second half, but the Saints carried on their command to lead by as much as 25.
A teardrop shot from Thompson gave the Saints the 76-61 lead with less than 12 minutes remaining in the game. Lavey tore the ball away from a Bacone defender for a fast break down the lane to take the Saints to 81-65. Thompson, with another one of his signature teardrop shots, gave the Saints the 105-82 lead.
Campus, who got in foul trouble in the first half, was assessed his fifth foul with 24 seconds remaining in the game. He left with an impressive seven points and three rebounds. The game ended after a pair of Bacone fouls shots with the Saints winning 108-85.
The Saints shot 46 percent from the field connecting on 40-of-86, compared to 54 percent for Bacone, who made 30-of-55. From 3-point range, the Saints made 19-of-42 for 45 percent, and Bacone made 9-of-16 for 56 percent. At the free-throw line, the Saints made 9-of-14 for 64 percent, and Bacone had 16-of-27 for 59 percent. The Saints committed 12 turnovers and forced 30 on Bacone.
Smith finished with 12-of-21 field goals, 5-of-10 3-pointers and 1-of-1 free throws for 30 points. He added four steals and four rebounds. Martinez made 7-of-13 from the field and 7-of-12 from 3-point range for 21 points. Thompson finished with his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists. He also added six steals, one block and four rebounds. Eddie Ortiz ended with 12 points, all off 3-pointers on 10 attempts. Lavey scored nine points and finished with four steals.
Leading scorers for Bacone were Kwame Bates, 23 points; Christian Smith, 14 points; and Creed Flowers, 12 points.
The Saints will return to Mabee Gymnasium on Thursday to play Paul Quinn College at 7:30 p.m. The Saints have won five of six games against Paul Quinn. The school, part of the Red River conference, is not eligible for post-season play. The Tigers are 7-7 on the season.
Saints Reporter Michael Thompson interviews Head Coach Russell Vanlandingham after the game.
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