The Aces used an 18-5 run to open the game and never looked back in a 63-41 win over scrappy Penncrest. Keys to victory included relentless defensive pressure and solid shooting from behind the arc and the free throw line. LM forced 20 Lions turnovers, many the result of a swarming full-court press. The Aces also knocked down seven three-pointers against the Penncrest zone and shot 10-14 from the the charity stripe.
BJ Johnson '13 led all scorers with 18 points, including four treys. Raheem Hall '13 (14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists) and Mike Robbins '12 (12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) filled up the stat sheet on both ends of the floor. Jaquan Johnson '14 had another strong performance off the bench, tallying 9 points and 4 assists. Darryl Reynolds '12 (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Bryce Williamson '12 (4 points) rounded out the scoring.
Penncrest proved tough to put away. The Lions battled back from a 17-point deficit in the second quarter to narrow the halftime score at 29-18. Early in the third, they cut the Aces' lead to eight. But LM opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run and cruised to the finish, much to the delight of an impressive Tuesday night Dawg Pound. The Pound, sporting sharp new charcoal gray t-shirts for the 2011-12 season, was led at one point by a rather naughty Santa Claus who apparently brought one good cheer too many to the crowd. St. Nick was bounced from the game late in the fourth sans cookies and milk and had to watch the closing minutes from the balcony windows, where he did his best impression of Dan Aykroyd/Bad Santa from Trading Places.
The Pound responded in kind, chanting "he knows when you are sleeping" to campus security aides.
'Tis the season.
The Aces close their pre-break schedule with a Friday night matchup at Conestoga. Tip-off is 7:30 PM.