First half surge pushes Golden Bulls over Bobcats, 93-79
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Trevin Parks poured in a game-high 29 points, and the Johnson C. Smith University men's basketball team posted a field goal percentage of over 58 percent on Saturday afternoon en route to a 93-79 victory over Lees-McRae College in non-conference play in Williams Gymnasium.
Johnson C. Smith (1-0) shot 58.1 percent from the floor in the contest, including a blistering 68 percent in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (0-1) to a clip of 41.5 percent on the afternoon. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 41-34 margin, including a 17-8 advantage on the offensive boards, as the Golden Bulls outscored the Bobcats in the paint, 50-36.
Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) paced the Bobcats with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including a 4-for-5 clip from beyond the arc, while also recording seven rebounds and four assists. Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, as Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) chipped in 12 markers and a contest-best four steals.
Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) added 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in his regular season debut for the Bobcats, while Chad Eppley (Boone, N.C.) came off the bench to score 11 markers with a 4-for-4 performance from the floor, including a 2-for-2 afternoon beyond the arc.
Trevin Parks led the way for Johnson C. Smith with 29 points, including 17 in the first half, as Emilio Parks added a double-double with 17 markers and 10 rebounds with an efficient 8-for-9 afternoon from the floor. Antwan Wilkerson and Robert Williams each chipped in 10 points, while Emilio Parks posted a game-high four blocks.
The first half opened with a fury, with the two teams scoring a combined 19 points in just over three minutes, giving Johnson C. Smith a narrow 10-9 lead with 16:44 to play in the period. The Golden Bulls would push the lead to 18-10 with an 8-1 run, capping the spurt with a Williams lay-in before Sepokas drilled a three-pointer to cut the advantage to 18-13 at the 12:31 mark.
Johnson C. Smith answered with a 9-0 spurt, widening the margin to 27-13 on a nifty layup by Trevin Parks with 10:24 to go. Trevin Parks and Sepokas would exchange three-pointers before Lees-McRae countered with a 7-3 run, cutting the lead to 33-27 on a pair of Lamot free throws.
The Golden Bulls would respond with a 14-7 surge to close out the half, taking a 47-34 lead into the intermission following a pair of late jumpers by Henry. Johnson C. Smith carried the momentum into the second half, pushing the lead to 54-34 on a triple by Joshua Linson before Sepokas answered with a three-pointer of his own to cut the lead to 54-38 with 17:12 to play.
Trevin and Emilio Parks combined for eight points over the next six and a half minutes to lead the Golden Bulls on a 15-7 run, stretching the lead to 69-45 following a Wilkerson trifecta at the 10:40 mark. Lees-McRae would respond with a 13-6 spurt, cutting the margin to 75-58 after James Saint Marc (Tampa, Fla.) converted a key three-point play with 7:44 left on the clock.
Johnson C. Smith answered with a spirited stretch of play over the next five minutes, widening the margin to 86-66 with an 11-8 spurt that included an emphatic alley-oop from Wilkerson to Terrance Washington with 6:46 to play.
The Bobcats never gave up the fight, finishing strong with a 13-7 run over the final two and a half minutes that featured a pair of late bombs from downtown by Sepokas and Eppley.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday when the Bobcats host Carson-Newman College in non-conference play at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -