Bearcats score 100 points in win over Flagler
GREENWOOD – Dwight Tolbert scored 21 points and Corey Wright added a double-double as the Lander Bearcats scored 100 points against a Peach Belt Conference opponent for the first time since the 1996-97 season, beating Flagler College 100-83 Wednesday night at Finis Horne Arena.
Lander improved to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the PBC. The Bearcats are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season when they began 10-1.
The Saints fell to 6-6, 0-5.
Lander last reached the century mark in a Peach Belt game when it beat USC Spartanburg 101-95 in 96-97.
The Bearcats survived a 3-point shooting clinic put on by Flagler, which made 15 of 33 from behind the arc. Lander shot 56 percent from the floor.
Tolbert made eight of 15 shots and also had a game-high eight rebounds. Wright had another strong floor game, adding 19 points on six of 11 shooting while dishing out 12 assists and committing only one turnover. It's his second double-figure assist game in a week.
Flagler's Matt Clark led all scorers with 23 points, making six of nine from behind the arc. Ryan Barnes and Jarrod Branco added 18 points apiece, with Barnes hitting six of 14 from behind the arc and Branco making three of six. Addison Smith added 11 points while Desmond Gibson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Lander hit 38 of 68 shots from the floor, 17 of 22 free throws (77 percent) and seven of 20 from 3-point range (35 percent).
The Saints made 27 of 60 shots (45 percent), 14 of 20 free throws (70 percent) and 15 of 33 from long range (46 percent).
The Bearcats had a 38-31 edge on the boards while forcing 20 turnovers.
Pruett's 3-pointer gave the Bearcats a 9-4 lead with 16:30 left. But Flagler scored seven unanswered points with Clark's 3-pointer giving the visitors an 11-9 advantage at the 14:32 mark. Lander's Cody Waterworth hit a long jumper from the left corner to tie the game at 11-all, and the contest went back-and-forth for the next several minutes.
Chad July scored in the paint to give Flagler a 16-12 lead at the 12-minute mark and Barnes swished a pair of 3-pointers, giving the Saints leads of 19-16 and 22-19 near the midway point of the first half.
Wright's trey from the left corner and Darius Carrier's three-point play gave Lander a 29-24 lead with 5:45 left.
Barnes made a 3-pointer to put the Saints back on top, 30-29, at the 4:46 mark. But Kennedy made a jump shot in the paint to put Lander back on top for good, then got a steal, passed to Wright, who passed back to Kennedy for a dunk and a 33-30 lead.
Tolbert and Canty scored inside to complete an 8-0 Bearcats run, making it 37-30. After Clark hit his third 3-pointer of the half for Flagler, Pruett answered with a trey and a 40-33 lead with 54 seconds left.
Tolbert and Wright hit four of four free throws in the final seconds of the half for a 44-33 lead at the break as Lander closed the half on a 15-3 run.
Smith scored inside to pull Flagler within 10, 46-36, early in the second half. But Kennedy broke away for a dunk and added a pair of free throws, Wright made a breakaway layup, and Canty scored on a put-back as Lander had its largest lead of the game at 54-36 at the 16:30 mark.
July scored to end Lander's 8-0 run. But Tolbert scored for the Bearcats and Wright hit a medium range jumper, giving the Bearcats a 20-point lead at 58-38 with 14:37 left.
Branco's 3-pointer pulled the Saints within 16. But Pruett and Tolbert responded with treys on consecutive possessions and Kennedy hit two free throws as Lander extended its lead to 70-48 with 10:22 remaining.
Tolbert's second-effort put-back gave the Bearcats their first 25-point lead at 74-49. Flagler kept battling, getting a pair of 3s from Clark and one by Branco to close within 76-59.
Kennedy's hook shot, Wright's free throw, and Tolbert's dunk off a pass from Wright pushed Lander's lead back to 22, 83-61, with 4:49 left.
Lander continued to answer Flagler's bundle of 3-pointers as Lowe made a driving layup and added a 3-pointer for a 95-73 advantage.
Mitchell added a tip-in with 36 seconds left and Waterworth's layup with eight seconds to go gave the Bearcats 100 points in any game since reaching the century mark against Allen University late during the 2009-10 season.