LCU men pounce on Texas A&M International, snap slump

Kentton Williams grinned and shook his head almost imperceptibly as he trotted back down court. Even Williams might have been a little astonished that a no-look shot, flipped backward over his head, fell in.

But it was that kind of night for the Lubbock Christian University men. Finally, the Chaparrals had fun, winning and making it look easy in the process. Fueled by Isaac Asrat’s shooting, LCU jumped to a big early lead and beat Texas A&M International 66-43 Thursday night in Heartland Conference basketball at the Rip Griffin Center.

It was only the second win in seven games for LCU (5-9, 1-2), which spent the first two months of the season banging its head against one of the strongest non-conference schedules in NCAA Division II.

“It’s good to get a win like this,” said Asrat, who finished with 21 points, four steals and three assists. “We’ve been practicing real hard. We deserve this win.”

“Like Isaac said, we had a long hard week of practice,” Williams said, “and it’s been a minute since we won. We came out here with a lot of energy, just ready to get this win because we needed that.”

Williams was a highlight film unto himself, finishing a couple of breaks with one-handed slams on the way to 11 points. He’d scored only eight in his previous five games.

LCU coach Todd Duncan, looking for a spark and the right lineup combination, has said more than once lately he’ll reward players who showed up well in practice. Williams, the 6-foot-5 sophomore from Levelland, started and matched a season high with 33 minutes, extended minutes he didn’t know were coming.

“I didn’t, to be honest,” Williams said. “But I did practice hard all week. The whole team did. It really could have been anybody in that starting spot. I’m just lucky it was me.”

LCU floored Texas A&M International (7-8, 0-3) from the outset. Asrat, the 6-1 junior guard from Plano East, scored 12 points in a little more than seven minutes, propelling the Chaps to a 19-2 lead.

“I felt good starting off,” Asrat said. “Kind of slowed down a little bit after that, but I’m just happy we got the W. We needed this one.”

After Asrat’s early burst, the Chaps kept adding on.

A 3-point goal from Brennen Fowler made it 24-7, Jay Workman hit two free throws, and a steal and fast break led to a dunk from Williams and a 28-7 lead. Shortly after that, Asrat blocked a shot and the Chaps got it ahead to Workman, who couldn’t finish. But Williams grabbed the missed shot and flipped one up over his head that found the net for a 30-7 lead.

“I saw it go up,” Williams said. “I was already turned. I saw the backboard and I just kind of flicked it up.”

The Chaps were 12 of 16 from the field at that point. Workman added a 3 that made the score 33-11, and the Chaps went to halftime up 41-24.

It was a productive night for LCU guards, not just Asrat. Workman, the 5-11 sophomore from Kermit, had 12 points and 6-3 senior Marcos Schuster from Frenship added 10 points with five rebounds and no turnovers in 36 minutes. The Chaps had only five turnovers as a team.

Texas A&M International lost for the fourth time in five games. Brendan Ortiz led the Dustdevils with 13 points.

LCU 66

TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL 43

TAMIU — Gomez 1-6 2-2 5, Garland 3-6 0-0 6, Milota 1-9 0-1 2, Ortiz 5-11 2-2 13, Wright 1-5 0-0 2, Spinuzza 0-2 0-0 0, Robinson 3-6 2-2 9, Leach 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 17-50 6-7 43.

LCU — Workman 4-10 3-4 12, Williams 5-6 1-1 11, Fowler 3-3 0-0 7, Asrat 9-16 0-1 21, Schuster 3-11 3-4 10, Lennox 1-1 0-0 2, Burrell 0-0 0-0 0, Proctor 0-2 2-2 2, Gilbreath 0-3 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 25-52 10-14 66.

Halftime score: LCU 41, TAMIU 24. 3-point goals: TAMIU 3-15 (Robinson 1-1, Gomez 1-3, Ortiz 1-5, Wright 0-2, Milota 0-2, Spinnuza 0-2), LCU 6-20 (Asrat 3-8, Fowler 1-1, Workman 1-3, Schuster 1-6, Williams 0-1, Gilbreath 0-1). Total fouls: TAMIU 14, LCU 15. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: TAMIU 35 (Wright 6, Leach 6), LCU 28 (Schuster 5). Assists: TAMIU 7 (Ortiz 2, Wright 2), LCU 15 (Workman 4). Steals: TAMIU 3 (Ortiz, Gomez, Spinuzza), LCU 10 (Asrat 4). Turnovers: TAMIU 16 (Ortiz 4), LCU 5 (Workman 2, Asrat 2). Blocked shots: TAMIU 0, LCU 4 (Fowler 3). Records: TAMIU 7-8, 0-3; LCU 5-9, 1-2.

Source: LubbockOnline.com

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