Red-hot shooting lifts LSUA to convincing victory over UNT-Dallas

ALEXANDRIA—The red-hot LSUA men’s basketball team shot 65.2 percent in a 115-89 victory over North Texas-Dallas on Wednesday evening at The Fort.

The shooting performance is the best such game since shooting 68.3 percent in a 115-91 win at Paul Quinn on Feb. 1, 2019.

“Over the long haul, our shots will fall,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Head Coach Larry Cordaro said. “There are so many players who can score.

“Offensively, we’re good. I’ll take triple digits every night we play. Defensively, though, we need to be better moving forward.”

The triumph is LSUA’s (6-2) fifth in a row.

Rodney Munson’s 19 points led a balanced scoring effort. Six Generals overall scored in double figures.

“Like I said after the tournament, I just have to come in ready to shoot every time I touch the ball,” Munson said. “Jordan (Adebutu) and Brandon (Ellis) always tell me, when in transition, just set my feet and don’t think about it. Just shoot. That’s what I did.”

UNDT kept it close for the first eight minutes of the game, but with the game tied, the Generals took control with an 18-4 run to go ahead 33-19.

Freshman Jakemin Abney and seniors Jordan Adebutu and Brandon Ellis all had five points during the run. Three 3-pointers were made during the run and sophomore Nashaun Ellis had a three-point play the old-fashioned way.

Overall, the Generals made 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from 3-point territory in the first half. Munson scored 12 in the first half, all on 3-pointers. All of his points came in a six-minute stretch, which saw the lead expand from 12 to 32.

“It’s exciting watching your ball go through the net and your teammates ball go through the net,” Smith said. “Once everybody started sharing the ball and the 3-pointers were falling, everybody got excited. It was fun watching everybody make those shots.”

The defense put the clamps on UNDT in the opening period, holding the Trailblazers to just 34.5 percent shooting and 30 percent from deep. It was a far cry from the first meeting. Two weeks ago, the Generals allowed 45 first half points on 60.7 percent shooting.

LSUA led by as many as 35 in the first half before heading to the locker room doubling up UNDT, 62-31.

Casey Smith was a facilitator for LSUA, falling just three assists short of his first career double-double. His seven assists are a career-high and the junior transfer has averaged five assists per game in his past five contests.

“Whatever it takes to win, I’ll do that,” Smith said. “No matter it is scoring, rebounding, or passing, I want to help the team win.”

After a 4-for-4 shooting performance against UNDT, Smith has shot 11-of-16 from the field and 4-of-7 from deep in his past three.

In addition to Munson and Smith, Jordan Adebutu (16), Jevon Berry (16), Seginald Bryant (12) and Brandon Ellis (10) were the others in double figures.

Adebutu filled the stat sheet, dishing out six assists and grabbing five rebounds, as well.

Bryant’s 12 signaled his first career double figure scoring output. He scored that on 4-of-4 shooting.

Of the 43 baskets for the Generals, 26 were assisted on. After getting 57 points from their bench in the win over Thomas, the LSUA bench scored 61 more Wednesday.

After scoring 26 in the first meeting, Vernon Johnson poured in 21 in this one, but LSUA forced him to shoot 7-of-17 from the field. Johnson led six players in double figures for the Trailblazers.

Next up for the Generals is a home date with Mobile on Saturday at 4 p.m. at The Fort. It is another rematch, as LSUA fell 87-80 in Mobile on Nov. 7.

“It helps us a bit that we’ve already played them this season,” Cordaro said. “We have some film on them. But it helped them too, having seen us already. It just depends on which coaching staff will be more detailed and work harder for longer.”