PORT ARTHUR – Like a tropical cyclone coming up from the Gulf, the Coastal Bend Cougars swamped Lamar State College Port Arthur in a storm of second-half points Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars trailed by four at halftime but outscored the Seahawks 35-9 to start the second period and won the NJCAA Region 14 basketball game by an 88-77 count at Carl Parker Center.
“We’ve got to continue to compete and play hard for 40 minutes,” Seahawks coach Lance Madison said. “It seemed like the guys put their heads down and started pouting a little bit.
“It was kind of embarrassing there for a couple of possessions. We just didn’t get after it like we normally do.”
Lamar State College Port Arthur dropped to 8-14 for the season, 2-10 in conference. Madison’s team will take a break from league play until next weekend but hosts Lone Star College-Tomball in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Coastal Bend carried a record of 10-9 overall and 5-7 in conference back to Beeville. The Cougars, 118-111 winners over San Jacinto in their prior outing, were only a game out of first in the Region 14 South Zone going into Saturday’s matchup in Port Arthur.
The Seahawks were led in scoring by a 23-point, eight-rebound effort from 6-foot-9 Serbian sophomore Stefan Radosavljevic.
Eleven of his 13 second-half points came after LSCPA faced its biggest deficit of 22 points, 66-44, with 8:40 left to play. His 3-pointer with 3:32 left got the Seahawks to within 10 points of the Cougars, 69-79, with 3:32 remaining.
The home team got no closer.
Rodney Brown, a 6-foot-7 sophomore from Beaumont, scored 12 of his total of 15 points and grabbed seven of his total of nine rebounds in the first half. Jase Miguez, Nederland sophomore, scored 14 points evenly split between halves.
A pair of sophomore guards, Malik Amos and Dujuan Madden, scored 28 and 23 points, respectively, for Coastal Bend. Madden was credited with six steals and a team-high six rebounds.
The Seahawks led at halftime 35-31.
They jumped to a seven-point lead, 27-20, on Miguez’s 3-pointer with 7:02 left in the half, but Coastal Bend scored nine straight points in the next 2:17 to go ahead 29-27. Brown, Miguez and Beaumont freshman Tevin Baker scored the final six points of the half to put LSCPA up four at the break.
“I thought in the first half, we kind of dominated the ball inside and scored it,” Madison said. “In the second half, we got a little bit away from our scouting report and started shooting jump shots.
“We made a little run at them in the end. We started playing a little defense and we hit some shots.”
The Cougars outscored LSCPA 20-6 in the first five minutes of the second half, and the Seahawks’ side of the scoreboard was stuck on 41 points for five and a half minutes. By then, CBC led 61-41 with 10 minutes left to play.
A 3-pointer by Baker trimmed CBC’s 66-44 lead and started the Seahawks’ best second-half stretch. Radosavljevic scored the next LSCPA bucket on a putback and contributed two bucket-and-one 3-point plays before his bomb from above the free throw circle.
San Antonio freshman Ethan White had a 3-pointer and an and-one 3-point play and Miguez hit a 3-pointer and a teardrop layup. Baker dished out four of his team-high seven assists on consecutive Seahawks scores that cut a 73-52 CBC lead to 75-64.