RALEIGH, N.C. – Bolstered by the home crowd, Saint Augustine’s University recovered from a tough opening day loss to thump Pfeiffer University 84-45 in its home men’s basketball opener at packed Emery Gymnasium on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The 39-point win was the largest for the Falcons since a 34-point victory over Bluefield in November 2009.
The Falcons (1-1) were energetic from the outset in routing Pfeiffer (0-3), which is also nicknamed the Falcons. The key was the second half when St. Aug outscored its opponent 42-17. The Falcons limited Pfeiffer to 14.3 percent shooting while making 51.9 percent of its shots in the second stanza. The effort was a stark contrast from Saturday in a seven-point season opening loss to Virginia Intermont at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
“We didn’t play with a lot of energy [against Virginia Intermont] and we talked about that the last couple of days,” Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said. “We absolutely played a lot harder [against Pfeiffer] and I was proud of that.”
The Falcons were especially intense on defense. They converted 30 turnovers including 14 steals into 35 points and dominated the glass 54-29 for a 17-4 advantage in second chance points. It helped the Falcons blow the contest wide open after leading 42-28 at halftime.
Joel Kindred (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) led all scorers with 23 points in a very balanced scoring attack. Nick Chamblee (Sr./Hampton, Va.) and Jordan Jones (So./Ahoskie, N.C.) each scored 11 points as every player who dressed out scored for St. Aug. By contrast, no Pfeiffer player scored in double figures.
The only area Blow harped on was turnovers. The Falcons threw the ball away 25 times but their defense prevented Pfeiffer from capitalizing on the miscues.
“We rushed some things, especially when we got a big lead,” Blow said. “But we played extremely hard.”
The victory was the first for Blow in his second go-round as St. Aug head coach. He previously coached St. Aug from 2008 to 2010, leading the Falcons to a CIAA title in the 2009-10 season. Right now, Blow is solely concentrating on his team improving each day.
“The main thing for us is how we play,” Blow said. “If we play at a high level, we give ourselves a chance. It is a long season, and hopefully, we can build on this game and get a little better.”
The Falcons return to action this weekend in the Catawba Classic in Salisbury, N.C. They face CIAA foe Chowan in a non-conference game Friday at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Falcons meet Paine at 2 p.m. Both games will be played on the campus of Catawba College.
–Sports Information Office