The Angelina College Roadrunners spent Monday night knocking off the holiday rust, and the layoff showed for a short time in the shooting department.
But once the shots began to fall – specifically some timely three pointers – the ‘Runners were able to pull out a 78-67 win over Richland College.
After going just 1-for-11 from beyond the three-point line in the first half, AC got five treys in five minutes after the Thunderducks had cut the lead to 52-50 with 9:25 to play. ‘Runner Ja'Darius Davis hit from behind the line on consecutive AC possessions, E.J. Williams hit two more and Vincent Walls added another to boost the Roadrunner lead back to double digits.
The shorthanded ‘Runners suited up just seven players for the game, and they needed minutes from each man. Mike Myers led AC in scoring with 21 points, Williams added 16 and Walls and Trent Brantley finished with 13 points each. Bamba Dioum kept the glass clean on both ends of the floor, finishing with 16 rebounds to go with eight points; 10 of those boards came on the defensive end of the floor.
Richland's Thomas Davis, the former Hudson Hornet standout, led the ‘Ducks with 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. James Montue chipped in 15 and Nathan Smith 11 for the Thunderducks.
"Our guys had to battle through a lot of adversity, with all the illness and injury we're dealing with right now," AC head coach Todd Neighbors said afterward. "I thought they fought hard and were determined to pull out a good win, especially coming off the layoff."
The Roadrunners built double-digit leads on several occasions throughout each half, only to see Richland string together scoring runs to cut those deficits to a single possession. Not until the three-point barrage midway through the second half were the ‘Runners able to breathe a little easier. Myers, Walls and Williams combined to hit six free throws in the final minutes to lift AC to its eighth win of the season.
The Roadrunners (8-6) will resume conference play Wednesday at home against Lamar-Port Arthur. Game time is 7:30 p.m., and the game will be available via live audio/video streaming. Log onto www.angelina.edu and click on the "Athletics" link for the web cast.