MONTGOMERY, Ala.–Four players scored in double figures, as the LSUA men’s basketball team scored a 77-73 victory against Keiser in the second game of the Battle at the Beach Tournament on Saturday at the Tine W. Davis Gymnasium.
“This is a game we had to have,” said LSUA Men’s Basketball Head Coach Larry Cordaro. “Credit our seniors, Brandon Ellis and Jordan Adebutu, for carrying us, but it was a group effort to get this victory.”
Adebutu (18) and Ellis (15) led the way. Adebutu scored 16 of his 18 in the second half and Ellis poured in 13 in the first.
“I had to be more aggressive in the second half,” Adebutu said. “My teammates did a good job finding me when I was open. I just had to stay with it.”
After not playing in a game within five points in the first four contests, the Generals (4-2) have played in back-to-back four point contests.
It is the 30th such victory in program history. The Generals have done well in those games historically, recording a 30-18 record in games decided by five or fewer points.
LSUA led by as many as 17 points with 12 minutes to play, but Keiser (4-3) cut the deficit to three points with 13 seconds left. But like Friday’s contest against Florida Memorial, Casey Smith iced the game with a free throw to give us the final margin of four.
Once again, the Generals controlled the opening period. Ellis, coming off the bench for the first time on the season, led the Generals to a 35-28 halftime lead. LSUA has led at halftime in every single game so far.
“Whatever the coaches need me to do is what I’m going to do,” Ellis said. “If they need me to sacrifice and come off the bench and be a fire starter, that’s what I’ll do.
Like Friday when the Generals went on a big early run to control the first half against FMU, LSUA started the game against Keiser leading 19-5. Ellis, Casey Smith and Jevon Berry all had five points during that early stretch to give the Generals the early 14-point advantage.
Smith registered another solid game for LSUA, scoring 13 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists.
“Casey had a terrific overall game for us,” Cordaro said. “He was able to come in and assert his confidence to the team. Not only did he contribute with his scoring, but he passed the ball well and chipped in on the boards too.
It is always big when a point guard can mix it up on the glass like he did.”
The Generals began the second half just as they started the first, as an early 10-0 run gave them a 49-33 lead five minutes into the second period.
LSUA led by 17 with 12 minutes to play, but Keiser responded with a 12-3 run to cut it to eight. Following a scramble, Ellis corralled the ball and dished it to an open Jalen Perkins for a free throw line jumper as the shot clock expired to stem the tide.
The lead was 10 with two minutes left, but an 8-1 run cut it to the three-point game with 13 seconds left. CoreVon Lott and Ryan Kroll each had four during the run. Lott finished with a game-high 28 points and Kroll scored 18.
Lott, Kroll and Antwan Claxton combined for 61 of Keiser’s 73 points.
Free throws aided the Seahawks comeback, as they went 14-of-14 in the second half.
Junior Joe Lewis narrowly missed his second double-double of the season, finish with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The defense came to play in Montgomery, allowing opponents to shoot less than 42 percent for the second consecutive game. After forcing 24 turnovers Friday, the Generals turned Keiser over 18 times Saturday.
For Keiser, Marko Radulovic finished with a near double-double, scoring eight points and grabbing 11 boards.
LSUA finishes the Battle at the Beach on Sunday afternoon when it takes on Thomas at noon.