November 2012, Previous Issues

Stifling Defense smothers Paine in 61-41 win

SALISBURY, N.C. – Saint Augustine’s University smothered Paine with suffocating defense in a 61-41 men’s basketball win in the Catawba Classic at Goodman Gym on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.

The Falcons (3-1 overall) streaked to their third consecutive victory by limiting Paine (0-2 overall) to 28 percent shooting. Paine was held to five field goals and 17 points in the second half which allowed the Falcons to turn what was a close contest into a rout.

The victory competed a successful weekend for the Falcons, who were 2-0 at the Catawba Classic. They received a trophy for being the only unbeaten team in the tournament, and two players – Percy Woods (Sr./Washington, D.C.) and Joel Kindred (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) – were named to the all-Classic team. Kindred was named tournament MVP.

“This was a great weekend,” St. Aug Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said. “We got a little better but we have to keep improving.”

The Falcons are surging since their opening season loss last Saturday. They have held their last three opponents to 35 percent shooting or lower. In the Catawba Classic, their two opponents – Chowan and Paine – shot less than 30 percent. The 41 points that Paine scored were a season low for a St. Aug opponent.

The key on Saturday was guarding Paine’s hot-shooting guards and stopping their main inside threat. The plan worked.

“They have a couple of really good shooters and a good low post player,” Blow said. “We had to close out on the shooters and defend the post.”

Paine only made 8 of 27 shots for 30 percent in the first half while the Falcons connected on 10 of 23 shots for 44 percent. But first-half turnovers (11) and missed free throws (6 of 12) by the Falcons kept the score close at halftime. The Falcons went to their locker room ahead 30-24.

The Falcons continued to play tight defense in the second half, but caught fire offensively to open a big lead. Kenny Fluellen, who led Paine with 18 points, hit a three pointer to close the Falcon lead to 32-29, but the Falcons took command from that point. Nick Chamblee (Sr./Hampton, Va.) recorded a steal and layup for a 54-35 lead with 4:13 left to cap a 22-6 run. Woods later added another three for a 59-37 lead with 1:50 left. Meanwhile, Paine was scoreless from the eight-minute mark to the two-minute mark of the contest.

Woods finished with 16 points including 11 points in the second half to spark the Falcons, who shot 55 percent and outscored Paine 31-17 in the final 20 minutes. Joel Kindred added 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Chamblee scored nine points and dished out four assists and Daniel Clark (Fr./Danville, Va.) contributed six points and seven rebounds off the bench. Akeem Anderson (Sr./Memphis, Tenn.) chipped in six points and five boards for the Falcons. Sean Morgan added 10 points for Paine, which had trouble handling the length, depth and defensive pressure of the Falcons.

“We are getting better defensively,” Blow said. “The key is to maintain defensive focus for long periods of time.”

The Falcons are close to reaching their goal on defense.

The Falcons will hit the court again next Saturday, Nov. 17 at Kentucky State in a non-conference game in Frankfort, Ky. Game time is 4 p.m.

 —Sports Management Office