MATTOON — In the final home game before hitting the road for five games, coach Brandon Colvin’s Lakers made easy work of a visiting Lindenwood-Belleville JV team.
Led by sophomore guard Josh Jefferson's 27 points, all in the first half, the Lakers dominated the visiting Lynx from the start on the way to a 124-75 win, improving to 3-0. It is their final home game until November 29 when they host Wabash Valley College.
Johnson said the win felt good and the team’s hard work is paying off, but his team can’t just focus on one game.
“Our goal isn’t just to win one game,” he said. “It’s to go to the national tournament.”
Johnson added the need to keep working hard to reach the end goal. An injury with 10 minutes to play forced the guard to sit the remainder, and after the game said he would have to wait and see the significance of the injury.
An early Lakers press played a key role in 22 turnovers and a team average 36 percent field goal shooting for the visitors from Belleville.
Lindenwood-Belleville grad assistant Cord Arriola said he may have missed an opportunity early to call a timeout and get his guys settled down.
“The press shook us up a little bit,” he said. “It (the early press) caused the turnovers and got our guys rattled.”
The Lakers went into the half up 23 and continued to dominate with everybody chipping in. Six Lakers reached double digits in the scoring column, freshman guard Dazon Farris chipped in 18 points and Davis Johnson scored 14 with Josh Robinson, Kasey Elam and Scott McGann each chipping in 10 points.
Colvin said his team’s energy was lagging to start, but once they got it going they did a great job keeping it up and pushing the game out of hand.
With six players reaching double digits in points, Colvin said it is a good final tune-up and an added bonus for his players' confidence.
“The guys that got in and played saw they could do it,” he said. “It gives us a little bit of faith in some guys.”
The Lakers hit the road for five games beginning with Great Rivers Athletic Conference opponent Rend Lake November 15 with a scheduled tip time of 7:30 p.m. Following the matchup with Rend Lake, Colvin’s team will travel to Champaign to face off with NJCAA Div. II No. 10 ranked Parkland on Saturday, November 18.