|Three-point shooting powers JCSU in basketball opener|
|Golden Bulls nail 12 treys against Bluefield State|
|Published Friday, November 16, 2018 11:21 pm|
Johnson C. Smith’s starters aren’t afraid to shoot the three-ball.
They made 12 threes in their 95-69 win against Bluefield State in the JCSU Tip-off Classic to open the season. The Golden Bulls conclude the classic Saturday at 4 p.m. against Lenoir Rhyne, which beat Livingstone 91-89 in double overtime. Livingstone faces Bluefield State at noon.
Four JCSU starters: Roddric Ross, Aaron Adair, Cayse Minor and Trevor Lewis scored at least one three, and their first 18 points came from beyond the beyond the arc. The Golden Bulls connected on 12-of-28 three-pointers, including 10-of-19 in the first half. Ross led them with 4-of-8 from beyond the arc for a game-high 22 points. Smith had four players with at least two threes, and six hit shots from beyond the arc overall.
“That was led by Roddric Ross. His three-point ball was going very, very well tonight, especially in the first half,” JCSU coach Steve Joyner said. “That helped us to create a margin.”
Said Ross: “Our defense picked up. We played a little bit off that, and we played together as a team. I wasn’t the only one making a barrage of shots. My fellow teammates made some good shots, and some good passes down the stretch as well.”
The Golden Bulls, who went 20-11 last season and advanced to the CIAA tournament final, remade the backcourt after losing a combined 34.7 points per game in league player of the year Robert Davis and Christian Kirchman. Ross, who averaged 14.6 points a game last season, and Minor (9.0 ppg) are the top returning scorers.
“There’s a growth spurt that we have to have,” Joyner said. “We’ve got to make sure that we become emotionally comfortable on the court and mature as the season goes on. I’m pleased tonight. We did some things very well, but we did some things not so well. Certainly, we are going to have to be better tomorrow against Lenoir Rhyne, who seems to be a veteran ball club. We are in the process of growing up.”
Said Minor: “We have a lot of new players, so we knew coming in that there were going to be a lot of pregame jitters. We knew we were going to have to work out the kinks early. All in all, I thought the upperclassmen stepped up, and our younger guys came in, contributed and played a great game.”
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