MONTGOMERY, Ala.–The bench scored 57 points, as the LSUA men’s basketball team had its biggest margin of victory of the season, winning 91-60 over Thomas to finish 3-0 at Battle at the Beach tournament at the Tine W. Davis Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
“We talked about playing four quarters,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “We wanted to win every quarter differently and significantly.
“We treated this classic like a tournament. Friday was the quarters, Saturday was the semis and Sunday was the championship. Going 3-0 was the goal coming here, so mission accomplished.”
Rodney Munson scored 15 points, along with Jevon Berry, to lead to the team. Five players finished in double figures for LSUA, three of whom came off the bench.
“Coming in off the bench, you have to be ready to contribute,” Munson said. “When my teammates passed me the ball, I had to be ready to shoot, and that’s what I did.”
In addition to Munson’s 15, Brandon Ellis scored 14 and Dustin Roy added 10.
Roy did the little things, including drawing two charges.
“I didn’t get much playing time the two previous games,” Roy said. “So I knew I had to do the little things to earn some playing time. Coach is big on taking charges, so I knew I had to get to the right spot to be able to take charges.
Roy was struggling from deep going in, making 4-of-21 from deep. But he knew the shots would start falling if he kept getting the opportunities.
“I had to keep shooting,” Roy said. “Even when my shots weren’t falling, coach tells me to keep shooting, so that is what I did.”
It is the fourth consecutive win for the Generals (5-2).
Like the previous two games in the tournament, LSUA started strong. Thomas kept it close, 11-10, five and a half minutes in, but the Generals went on a 39-13 run to break it open.
LSUA began to take control with three consecutive three-point possessions to push the lead to 25-12. Nashaun Ellis had a basket and was fouled, which was followed by back-to-back Munson triples.
The Generals bench outscored Thomas (2-7) in the first half, 30-26, as LSUA led 50-26 at halftime.
Thomas tried making a run in the second half, but Brandon Ellis put an end to that, scoring on four straight possessions, including three triples. That put LSUA in front by 31, and TU never cut it to fewer than 30 the remainder of the contest.
LSUA forced at least 18 turnovers in every game of the tournament, turning Thomas over 19 times.
The Generals had a strong shooting performance, shooting 54.4 percent, and holding TU to just 31.4 percent.
Jalen Perkins finished with a near double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with scoring nine points.
Playing his first minutes of his career, freshman Hunter Strickland scored the first points of his career off a pass from Seginald Bryant.
“This team has shown the ability to win low-scoring games and high-scoring game,” Cordaro said. “The best teams are the teams that you can’t tell if they’re better offensively or defensively.
“The past few years we have been better offensively, but this team seems to be buying in a little bit better on defense.”
LSUA returns to the court Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. when the Generals host UNT-Dallas, led by former NBA All-Star Josh Howard. LSUA won the first meeting between the two in Dallas 96-85 back on Nov. 19.