October 30, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Sophomore guard Devontavius Payne erupted for 18 points, 16 coming in the first half Friday, to lead the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team to a resounding 105-70 opening-season win over visiting Bethel University of McKenzie, Tenn.

A former Carbondale Terrier, Payne converted 6-of-13 shots from the field, including one triple and highlight reel slam dunk. He was also a perfect 5-of-5 at the free-throw line.

“It was a good start for us. I thought we came out and played hard,” Payne said. “We’ve got a lot of weapons on this team – a lot of athletes – so we should be pretty good.”

Joining Payne in double figures were: sophomore forward Ranell Crossland (17 points on 7-of-12 shooting); freshman post player Michael Tucker (12 points on 4-of-9 shooting); guard Jalen perry (11 points on 4-of-9 shooting); and sophomore post player Tamas Bruce (10 points on 5-of-6 shooting).

Freshman guard Jarvis Calhoun tacked on nine points. Anthony Campbell followed with seven. Armon Benford dropped in six. Rashaun Richardson and Jerome Davis tallied five apiece. Allen Jones netted three and Herrin native Justin Lukens added two. More important, the sophomore point guard dished out a team-high eight assists, while committing no turnovers.

Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We got some cobwebs off of us tonight, but it was fine,” he said. “I like the fact that we put up a lot of points. And we expect that because we’ve got guys who can score. It’s going to be tough for teams to come out against us and key on one guy.

“Defensively, I think we can get better, but that’s what the first game is for – to work out some of the kinks. We got beat on the backdoor pass some tonight, but all in all, I could live with the effort.”

Smithpeters said it’s important to cut down on the fouling.

“We let them Bethel get in the bonus by the 10-minute mark of the first half and that’s mainly because we weren’t moving our feet enough on defense. If you put good teams in the bonus at the 10-minute mark, it’s going to be a long haul for you most nights.”

Statistically speaking, the Vols converted 40-of-82 shots from the field as a team, good for 49 percent. They made good on 7-of-25 shots from long range (28 percent) and knocked down 18-of-24 free tosses (75 percent).

Logan also won the battle of the boards, 41-to-30.

Now 1-0, the Vols will play host to Kentucky Wesleyan at 3 p.m. today.

Any kid 14 or under dressed in Halloween costume garb will be awarded candy and there will be a costume judging at the half of both the men’s game and then later in the evening during the women’s game.