LCC Men’s Basketball Update 1-24-2012

The LCC men’s basketball team picked up its first win in 2012 last week with a 90-89 win over Clarendon College last Wednesday in Clarendon, TX. However their struggles continue as they dropped a 74-71 decision against Northeastern Junior College, Saturday in Sterling, CO. The Runnin’ Lopes are now 5-12 on the season and 0-3 in Region IX South Sub-Region Play.

Last Wednesday the Lopes traveled down to Clarendon, TX to take on Clarendon College. The Lopes scored quickly out of the gates to take a 2-0 lead, that would be the only lead of the half as Clarendon was in full attack mode. “Clarendon is a tough matchup” said Head Coach Adam Schwartz. “They play so fast and shoot so quick.” Clarendon was on fire as they hit 9/18 3 point attempts in the first half and would get up by as many as 18 points in the half. Lamar would could cut into the lead multiple times only to see Clarendon hit shot after shot and take a 48-32 lead going into halftime. “Our kids were surprised by how fast they play and when they make shots like they did it can be devastating,” said Coach Schwartz. The second half started just like the first. Clarendon

continued to make shots and put pressure on the Lopes defense. However the Lopes would find some offense led by Malcolm Brooks and Preston Rayburn and would slowly chip away at the lead. “We did a much better job of not letting them make some big runs in the 2nd half,” said Coach Schwartz. “That is what allowed us to get back in the game. Clarendon would hold a 10-12 point lead for most of the 2nd half. That’s when Malcolm Brooks took over the game with help from his teammates. The Lamar defense would hold Clarendon without a field Goal for nearly the last 4 minutes while erasing the lead and taking their first lead since 2-0 with 25 just under 25 seconds to go. Clarendon would take the lead back with a shot with 15 seconds left making the score 89-88. Lamar would put the ball in Malcolm Brooks’ hand for the last shot, he would drive to the hoop and find Trey Beverly for a wide open shot. The shot would miss and the biggest play of the game would be Shore Adenekan grabbing his first offensive rebound with 2.2 seconds left. Lamar would call a timeout and set up their last play. The play was ran to perfection setting up Malcolm Brooks with an open jump shot at the buzzer. The final was 90-89. “I was very proud of our guys, they dug in deep and chipped away at the lead,” commented Schwartz. “I knew we had a chance if we could get it to single digits in the last 5 minutes.” Malcolm Brooks would lead four players in double figures for Lamar with 25 points, also contributing 4 assists. Shore Adenekan continued his solid play with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Preston Rayburn would finish with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Jalen Caoile in only his 4th game returning from injury would finish with 10 points.

Saturday night the Lopes would travel to Sterling to take on Northeastern Junior College. Lamar again would be their own worst enemy having trouble rebounding and taking care of the basketball. Lamar’s defense would be better than it has been in recent outings and would be in the game the whole way. “We have really stressed to our guys that we need to get off to better starts’” said Schwartz. The lopes would do just that holding NJC to just 36% from the field in the 1st half. However the offense would struggle yet again as the Lopes would score just 25 points and shoot 32% from the field. “We have yet to play a complete game,” said Coach Schwartz. “We have yet to have a game where we have played well on both ends for 40 minutes.” The Lopes would go into halftime down 32-25. The Lopes would once again come out in the 2nd half and get the offense going. However if they weren’t scoring they were turning the ball over and defensive rebounding would be a big issue as Lamar was not quite able to get over the hump and take the lead. Lamar would finally take the lead with just under 2 minutes on a Malcolm Brooks 3 pointer. But some offensive miscues would give NJC the lead back. Lamar would have one last chance to win the game but a questionable illegal screen call would seal the win for NJC 74-71. Malcolm Brooks again led Lamar with 26 points, hitting 6 3’s. Preston Rayburn finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Trey Beverly would finish with 9 points and Shore Adenekan would contribute 7 points and 10 rebounds. “We had our chances to win that one,” commented Schwartz. “We can’t give teams extra opportunities by turning the ball over and giving up offensive rebounds.” Lamar would commit 24 turnovers and give up 16 offensive rebounds. “Those are big stats in a 3 point game,” said Coach Schwartz.

The Lopes finally return home for the first time since December 9. Lamar plays Trinidad State on Wednesday at 8:00pm and host Otero Junior College Saturday at 8:00pm.

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