|Golden Bulls in rhythm with CIAA win vs. St. Augustine's|
|Five players hit double-digits in 88-78 victory|
|Published Thursday, February 7, 2019 11:00 pm|
|PHOTO | TROY HULL|
|Freshman point guard Justice Goodloe scored 10 points and handed out five assists in Johnson C. Smith's 88-78 CIAA win against St. Augustine's.|
Johnson C. Smith is playing its best basketball of the season.
The Golden Bulls notched their third win in four games with an 88-78 victory against CIAA South foe St. Augustine’s Thursday at Brayboy Gym. After falling behind by nine early, JCSU (7-13, 4-9 CIAA) warmed up with five Golden Bulls scoring double figures while connecting on 27-of-54 shots.
“We’re still a work in progress, there’s no doubt about that,” JCSU coach Steve Joyner said. “Outstanding first half, not so good the second half. We gave up 52 second-half points.”
The Golden Bulls, however, had more than enough offense to overcome the defensive lapses. Roddric Ross led JCSU with 19 points on 8-of-16 points while Nenad Milenkovic chipped in 15 off the bench. Smith’s reserves outscored St. Augustine’s (7-14, 4-10) 35-11, with Michael Roberson adding 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting along with four rebounds.
“We’re encouraged,” center Antonio Harper said. “We started off real slow, but we’re starting to peak. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.”
JCSU’s improved play during the 3-1 stretch is the product of better scoring balance. While Ross and Cayse Minor (12 points) are consistent threats, others are stepping up. Against St. Aug’s it was point guard Justice Goodloe, who scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting as well as the bench. The Golden Bulls converted 20 Falcons turnovers into 31 points while St. Aug’s managed 15 points off 12 JCSU miscues.
Roddric Ross – The Golden Bulls’ best offensive threat kicked into gear with 15 first-half points to spark JCSU to a 43-26 lead at intermission. He nailed 8-of-16 shots, including 3-of-6 beyond the arc.
Nenad Milenkovic – Scored all 15 points in the second half as JCSU fought off St. Aug’s rally.
“He’s a rhythm shooter and he’s been wanting to score for us,” Joyner said. “Sometimes he takes shots outside of his rhythm… but I thought he got great rhythm shots today.
Justice Goodloe – The freshman point guard looked comfortable running the offense. He handed out a team-best five assists against a single turnover.
St. Augustine’s nailed 17-of-29 shots (58.6 percent) of its shots in the second half to finish 28-of-53 overall (52.8 percent). The difference was in three-point accuracy, with JCSU knocking down 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) compared to the Falcons’ 10-of-24 (41.7 percent).
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