ALEXANDRIA–The LSUA men’s basketball team trailed by as many as 13, but it came roaring back to defeat Jarvis Christian 92-89 on Tuesday night at The Fort.
Trailing by 11 at halftime and 13 after a pair of Jacob Brown free throws early in the second half, the Generals stormed back, thanks to a 14-2 run to cut it to 55-54. Redshirt freshman Rodney Munson was fouled on a 3-pointer, which was good, and freshman Jakemin Abney buried a triple, to finish the run.
“It took everything,” Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “Our guys gave everything in the second half. We had a lot of key performances on the offensive side of the ball. Hats off to our guys for really willing themselves to victory.”
The freshmen came through once again, as Abney scored a career-high 27 points and Munson poured in 22 to go along with six assists. Both players have scored in double figures in the last six games and at least 20 in the past two.
A triple by junior guard Casey Smith gave LSUA the lead for the first time in the second half with 7:46 remaining at 74-73. Junior forward Jevon Berry followed with a bucket to put the home team up by three. The Generals never relinquished the lead after that.
Berry scored all 14 of his points in the second half to help lead the charge to come back for the win.
LSUA (13-2 overall, 3-0 RRAC) wins its 12th in a row, it’s most in two seasons. The Generals remain perfect against JCC all-time at 12-0. However, it is tied for the closest score all-time between the two with a 68-65 LSUA win in 2018.
The Generals improve to 5-0 in games decided by five points or fewer and they remain in a tight race with LSU-Shreveport and Texas A&M-Texarkana for RRAC supremacy.
The team remains perfect in games in which Munson and Abney participate in.
JCC (2-6, 2-5) has lost three conference games by three or fewer points, so their record is close to being significantly better.
Much off the first half was tight, but JCC’s late spurt gave them a 47-36 lead at halftime. With six minutes left in the half, the teams were tied, but the Bulldogs scored 21 in the final six minutes to score 47 in the first half.
“We had a lack of energy in the first half,” Berry said. “It isn’t how we normally come out, so we knew we had to pick it back up in the second half.”
LSUA had cut it to one, but JCC pushed the lead back out to seven before Berry scored seven points in 1:19 to bring the Generals back in the game before Smith’s triple gave them the lead.
Munson and Abney combined to make six consecutive free throws to seal the game late.
Joe Lewis posted his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, joining his 19-points, 12-rebound performance in the opener against Dallas Christian.
McShane Wyaatt led the way for JCC with 26 points, including 8-of-11 from 3-point territory. Semaj Matthews finished with a double-double for the Bulldogs with 10 points and 22 rebounds, which is the most in the RRAC this season.
The Generals made 14 3-pointers in only 27 attempts and the team shot 53.1 percent in the second half to aid the comeback.
The players were able to find each other in the second half, and the chemistry showed in the final 20 minutes.
“We get along really well off the court, so it transitions to on the court,” Joe Lewis said. “We know where everybody wants to be and we are able to find them.”
It is a short break for LSUA, as the Generals return to action Thursday with another game against the University of the Southwest.
CUTLINE: Jevon Berry scored 14 points, all in the second half, to help lead the charge, as LSUA erased an 11-point halftime deficit and came back to win 92-89 against Jarvis Christian on Tuesday night in Alexandria