Men’s College Basketball: Lewis turns aside Truman State
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media January 3, 2014 10:56PM
Lewis' David Niggins rises for a layup Friday vs. Truman State. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 6, 2014 6:34AM
Basketball is a game of numbers. If your team is on the right end of most of them, you increase your chances of victory.
Lewis put up some telltale numbers during its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener Friday night against league newcomer Truman State in Romeoville.
The No. 22 Flyers turned the ball over just four times and allowed four offensive rebounds in an 82-65 triumph. The victory puts the Flyers at 9-0 overall and 1-0 in the GLVC. Truman State fell to 8-2, 0-1.
“They are 8-1 for a reason, but I thought we did a really good job tonight,” Lewis coach Scott Trost said. “I thought the second half, we played well. Jeff Jarosz was fantastic (Friday).”
Jarosz, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, scored a game- and career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and turned the ball over just once as the Flyers’ offensive quarterback.
“They had a small team so we knew we had to attack them,” Jarosz said. “We took care of the ball and did a good job attacking them.”
Nick Valla added 17 points, Ryan Jackson scored 13 to go along with six rebounds, David Niggins scored 11 off the bench and Julian Lewis added a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Lewis outscored Truman State 18-2 on second-chance points and 18-3 off turnovers.
“We are among the top teams in the country in turnovers so we take care of it on the offensive end,” Trost said. “I think our tempo and pace has to be better, but I thought we were our most consistent on offense this season.”
After three ties and nine lead changes, Lewis settled for a 40-36 lead at the intermission.
Leading 54-49, Lewis went on a 12-2 run to put the game away. A long three-pointer by Valla and four straight points to end the run by Jarosz gave the Flyers a 66-51 lead with 9:45 left. Lewis’ biggest lead was 81-60 on another three-pointer by Valla with 1:49 left in the game.
“We competed on the glass and did a lot of good things,” Trost said. “I thought we could exploit them on the glass and we did.”
Lewis returns to action with another GLVC contest at 3 p.m. Sunday against Quincy in Romeoville.
“We know Quincy is a good team,” Jarosz said. “We have to take things one game at a time and we’ll be fine.”