Thursday, January 14, 2010
Rust teams busy on court
By CLAUDE VINSON
Rust College hosted four basketball games over the weekend, two on Saturday and another pair on Sunday.
Saturday, the first game featured the Bearcats against Maryville College of Alcoa, Tenn. The second contest was a match-up between the Lady Bearcats and the Lady Tornadoes of Talladega College. Maryville plays in Division III and Talledega is a member of NAIA.
Bearcats lose close one
The squads from Maryville and Rust looked like bookends. Neither appeared to have a superior height advantage. They were also similar in speed. They were not running away with each other on fast breaks. The Bearcats did have the edge in defensive rebounds, however, the Scots had the sharpshooters. Wes Lambert pumped in a couple of treys and Greg Hernandez was hitting from various spots around the paint. They ran up a 14-point lead before the Bearcats began fighting back. Rust trimmed it to four at one point but the Scots’ long balls pushed it back to double digits before intermission. Sergio Catron hit one at the buzzer to lower it to single digits at 55-47.
The Bearcats hit the floor in the second period in full hustle mood. Stepping up their attack, Rust stayed close, running a six- to four-digit deficit until Markeith Wilson sank his fourth trey and cut it to one at 73-72. After Maryville hit a freebie, Larry Veasley tied it at 74. The Scots moved out again to 79 but William Montgomery tied it with an old-fashioned three. It evolved into a tit-for-tat game in the final six minutes. Veasley gave the Bearcats their first lead at 87-85. The Scots came back with an old-fashioned trey of their own compliments of Eryk Watson who was hitting from everywhere.
The score flipped a few times before it settled at 98-94 favoring Maryville. The Bearcats had opportunities to take it at the charity stripe but couldn’t capitalize. They shot 45.5 from the line while the visitors had a whopping 81 percent. The score stayed at 98-94.
Rust was led by four shooters in double figures – Veasley with 23, Wilson with 18, JaMarcus Landfair with 17 and Montgomery with 16.
Lady Bearcats fall
The Lady Bearcats had their claws full with the Lady Tornadoes of Talladega College Saturday afternoon. The game started in a slow mode. Neither team was knocking the nets off.
The early lead went to the visiting Lady Tornadoes. But the Lady Bearcats kept creeping back. They took a brief lead at one juncture and began matching the visitors point for point. Both were opting for the long shot and having only modest success. The Lady Tornadoes started to do most of their damage from close range. They achieved a good deal of consistency which allowed them to slowly pad their lead. They ended up with six point margin in a 43-37 score at intermission.
After the break, the Lady Tornadoes came out and put the wheels on. They grabbed about 70 percent of the defensive rebounds and turned fast break after fast break. They had forged ahead by 19 points before the second period reached the halfway mark. Morgan Bennett and Tamkio Round became the chief hit makers and the score kept ballooning.
With less than two minutes left, the Lady Tornadoes had created a 26-point gap. The Lady Bearcats’ shooting had gone stone cold. The final tally was 91-63.
Arielle Taylor led Rust’s shooters with 16, she was followed by Danielle Patterson with 13.
Rust women win
The Lady Bearcats played a game at noon on Sunday. It was a make-up game with Birmingham Southern which had been postponed from January 7. The Lady Bearcats won that one by a score of 74-70.
Bearcats get victory
The Rust College Bearcats found themselves embroiled in another highly-contested game on Sunday afternoon. This would be the second home game in as many days for Rust. They had played on Saturday and prior to that had been in a holiday tournament at Millsaps College, a Division III school in Jackson.
Coach Rodney Stennis, long-time leader of the Rust program, said the Bearcats should have come away with the tourney trophy.
“We had some tough games and reached the finals against the host team,” he said. “We lost by one point.”
The tip went to the Bearcats Sunday versus Piedmont College and Larry Veasley fired a deuce from the top of the key. The Lions scored on their first three touches, two treys and a deuce to take an 8-2 lead.
The Bearcats were employing a two-three defense, packed tight. This aided in their getting a one-point lead, which was erased by the Lions with a three ball. Meanwhile there was a real battle developing among the big men in the posts. Rust was holding its own in the rebound wars, grabbing a healthy percentage. However, the trouble was coming from the sharpshooters on the wings. Samuel Coppage tossed in a couple from long range which moved the visitors out to a nine-point lead. The Bearcats bounced back and were within three at half time at 40-43.
The score swung like a pendulum at the start of the second period. The squads were trading baskets with neither claiming a large dividend. The Lions foiled coverage a few times and hit from the back door. Veasley was being effective in and out of the paint. His performance gave Rust its largest lead at four points with six minutes left. Sergio Catron was helping to keep them out front at the charity stripe. Then Catron and James Roberson got a co-op going and turned six points, giving Rust breathing room at 81-75 with two and a half minutes left. And unlike the game the day before, the Bearcats stayed steady at the line. Eric Jackson hit four consecutive freebies to cement the victory. Rust had an 80 percent production at the stripe. They took this one 89-84.
The Bearcats again had four shooters in doubles – Veasley (23), Roberson (16), Markeith WEilson (15) and JaMarcus Landfair (11).
The Bearcats’ next home game is scheduled for January 31 against LaGrange College.
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