Beaumont sophomore Rodney Brown scored 25 points and snared a dozen rebounds Saturday to lead Lamar State College Port Arthur to a 105-93 win over Lone Star College Cy-Fair in the opening night of the 2017 New Year’s Classic at the Carl Parker Center in Port Arthur.
LSCPA plays North American College in the finale of the Classic at 4 p.m. Sunday. Victoria College, which won a hard-fought 81-76 victory over North American Saturday afternoon, plays Cy-Fair at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Brown was one of six double-digit scorers for the Seahawks, who snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 5-7 for the season. Cy-Fair’s Falcons fell to 14-9 on the season.
Matej Gaspert scored a season-high 17 points for LSCPA while Ethan White and Jase Miguez scored 12 each, Travious Grubbs added 11 and Stefan Radosavljevic chipped in 10. Radosavljevic had eight rebounds while teammates Grubbs and Tevin Baker pulled seven each and Gaspert a half dozen as the Seahawks wore out the shorter Cy-Fair squad on the boards, 52-23.
“It’s real good to get a win,” said the 6-foot-7 Brown, a graduate of Beaumont West Brook. “At halftime, coach told us we had to tighten up on defense, and we did that.
“We came together as a team and we got it done.”
The Seahawks and Falcons were tied, 33-33, with six minutes left in the first half, but Brown’s block of a layup by Cy-Fair’s Tyler Giron led to a 3-ball by the Seahawks’ Nathan Payne and LSCPA outscored its opponent 20-10 to take a 10-point, 53-43, lead in at half.
Coach Lance Madison’s team never trailed in the second half. The Falcons whittled the Seahawks lead to five points, 95-90, with 2:15 left, but could get no closer.
Christian Alackwe led the Falcons with 17 points while teammates Tyler Giron and Donald Williams scored 16 points each.
“They [the Falcons] played a good ball game and I was glad to see our kids dig in and get some consecutive stops,” Madison said. “We made some plays late and hit our free throws. It was a good win for us, it really was.”
Grubbs, a Silsbee sophomore, scored nine of the Seahawks’ first 18 points in the game’s first five minutes – including a pair of 3-pointers – but foul trouble limited him to just two more points before half and he did not score after intermission.
Brown scored 14 points in the first half, including 5 of 7 from the floor. He finished the night 9 of 13 on field goals. Miguez was 2 of 3 from 3-point land and Grubbs finished 2 of 4 for a Seahawks team that shot 42.9 percent (6 of 14) on 3-pointers for the game, 59.7 (37 of 62) on all field goals and only slightly better on free throws, 65.8 percent (25 of 38).
The two teams combined to shoot 71 free throws as the officials whistled 56 personal fouls.
After Cy-Fair’s Kais McCook hit a pair of free throws to cut LSCPA’s lead to five points with 2:15 remaining, the Seahawks’ Alex Williams and Radosavljevic each went 2 for 2 at the stripe down the stretch.
LSCPA also scored on field goals by Devin Ellis, Radosavljevic and finished their field-goal scoring with Brown slamming down an alley-oop pass from Williams, who finished with a team-high eight assists.