Houston, TX – No. 1 LSUA showed they can close out a game when needed, using a 14-6 run over the final 6:30 to turn a five point deficit into a 63-60 win over a game St. Thomas Celts team Thursday night at the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center.
St. Thomas jumped out to an early six-point lead as Paris Marquez’s three gave the Celts a 12-6 lead. With the Celts maintaining that six-point lead at 20-14, LSUA went on a 12-0 run to take their first lead of the game as Brandon Ellis’s three pointer gave the Generals a 26-20 advantage just more than 5:00 left before the break.
But the Celts came right back at the Generals, turning a 29-23 LSUA lead into a 33-29 Celt advantage by scoring ten straight points, the last two on a bucket by Nathan Thormaehlen with a minute left in the game. At the break, St. Thomas led 36-33.
Out of the break, LSUA scored six of the first eight points as Brandon Moss’s jumper put the Generals on top 39-38. The two teams would equal each other over the next several minutes, but with LSUA up 49-48, St. Thomas tallied six straight to take their largest lead of the second period when Lennard Robinson’s basket gave St. Thomas a 54-49 lead.
From there, LSUA went on the decisive run, scoring the next five to tie the game back up at 54-54 on a made free throw by Chris Vickers. With UST holding a 58-56 lead, the Generals scored five straight. Down one, Brian Sylvester rebounded a missed lay-up and put it back in to give the Generals the lead for good. Then, Jordin Williams picked Kennard Robinson’s pocket and got a quick lay-up to bump the LSUA lead up to 61-58. After a pair of Celt free throws, Brandon Moss was able to take in an inbounds pass, turn on his defender and score, all with the shot clock running out for the key score with just 17 seconds remaining. LSUA’s defense closed the game from there, forcing two air balls on three point attempts as the Celts tried to tie the game in the closing seconds.
“The RRAC is always a tough conference, and any road win is a quality win,” said LSUA head coach Larry Cordaro. “I’m proud of the team for playing strong for long enough to get a tough win in a back-and-forth battle. I’m happy with the play of Brandon Moss, Jordin Williams and Brian Sylvester. Bradley Savoy and Damian Goodwin also gave us some quality minutes off the bench. But tonight shows us we still have a lot of work to do, we have to play much better.”
Brandon Moss led the way for LSUA with 19 points on nine of 13 shooting. Jordin Williams and Brian Sylvester each scored 13 in the win. The Generals (16-0, 6-0 RRAC) shot 44.1% from the field, and struggled from deep, hitting only 24.0% from above the three point arc.
St. Thomas (6-11, 2-4 RRAC) shot 40.7% in the contest, and also struggled from distance, hitting just 27.3% from three. The Celts took better advantage of their chances at the free throw line, hitting ten of their 13 attempts while the Generals was five of ten at the charity stripe.
The Generals hit the court next on Saturday afternoon as LSUA takes on Texas College. Tip-off between the Steers and top-ranked Generals is set for 4:00 P.M. at Gus Taylor Gymnasium.