Men’s College Basketball: Lewis cuts down Trinity Christian
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media December 31, 2013 4:00PM
Trinity Christian's Trey Johnson (left) defends against Lewis' Jeff Jarosz. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 3, 2014 3:52PM
Most basketball experts will cite the first few minutes of the second half/third quarter as the most important of the game.
Lewis outscored Trinity Christian 14-0 during the first six minutes of the second half en route to an 89-71 win Tuesday at Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville.
The win gives Lewis (8-0) and undefeated nonconference slate heading into its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener Friday at home against league newcomer Truman State. Trinity Christian dropped to 4-12.
“We wanted to get the rust off after a long break and get back into the flow of things heading into our first conference game Friday,” Lewis guard Ryan Jackson said.
The game also marked the first for the Flyers after debuting at No. 22 in the NCAA Division II rankings, which came out earlier in the day.
“We’re ranked in the top 25 in the nation,” Jackson said. “Now, we have to go out and play like that.”
Coming off a 10-day hiatus, Lewis raced to a 15-4 lead on a three-pointer by Jackson with 15:42 left in the first half. Two free throws by Jackson gave the Flyers their biggest lead of the first half at 44-31 with 3:30 left.
However, the Trolls rallied behind the play of Logan Vos. Trinity closed the first half with a 14-0 run, eight points by Vos, to take a 45-44 lead at halftime. Lewis used all of the intermission and nearly arrived to the court late.
“I knew we’d be a little sluggish, but I didn’t think we’d come out like that,” Lewis coach Scot Trost said. “We went through the motions in the first half.”
“He had a lot of things to say,” Jackson said of Trost’s halftime speech. “He said things you can’t write in the paper. We came out sluggish and lethargic. After coach talked to us, we were able to play with a little more intensity and passion in the second half.”
“We talked about playing with purpose and energy,” Trost said. “There were no major adjustments. I’m proud of the way we came back and finished the game in a positive way.”
Lewis made seven of its first 10 shots during its blitz to start the second half. Nelson and Jeff Jarosz were 2-of-2 from the floor during the run. Trinity missed its first seven shots and committed four turnovers to start the second half.
Gabe Williams’ layup, off a Nick Valla assist, gave the hosts a 58-45 lead with 14:19 left in the game. Jackson’s three-point play pushed the Flyers advantage to 71-52 with 9:45 left.
Jackson led the Flyers’ charge with a season-high 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds. His floater in the lane with 4:30 left to play to notch his 1,000th career point. The 6-foot-2 junior guard is the 38th player in Lewis history to reach the 1,000-point club.
Jarosz added 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Julian Lewis added 11 points and six boards and Kyle Nelson reached double figures with 10 points
Vos (15 points), Jared Jones (14) and Joe Hehir (10) led the Trolls.