January 14, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Sophomore Devontavius Payne scored 12 of his 22 points in overtime Wednesday to lead the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team to a 97-91 win before a standing-room-only crowd on “Carterville Night” at the Donald L. Brewer Gymnasium and Convocation Center.

A Carbondale High School grad, Payne hit two triples, two conventional field goals, and two free throws to spark the offense.

With the win, the nation’s seventh-ranked Volunteers improve to 7-0 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 16-1 overall. The Blue Devils fall to 3-4 in the league and 11-5 overall.

While it was Payne who carried the load late, it was freshman guard Jalen Perry who kept the Vols’ heads above water in the first half, scoring seven straight points right before the intermission to keep the home team within striking distance at 40-34.

Perry finished with a team-high 23 points. He was 6-of-8 shooting from the field with one 3-pointer and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line.

Joining Perry and Payne in double figures for the Vols were Tamas Bruce (14) and Ranell Crossland (13). Bruce also led the team in rebounds with 12 to record a double-double. Jarvis Calhoun finished with eight points on the night. Michael Tucker dropped in seven. Armon Benford collected six. Justin Lukens and LaMarcus White each had two.

“We’ll take the win, but I wish our composure had been a lot better,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “We started worrying about the wrong things tonight. I just didn’t think our leadership was there tonight. But tip your hat to Kaskaskia. They’re a good team. They made it tough for us. Fortunately for us, we found a way to pull it out at the end. We just have to quit swinging for the fences all the time. When we worked the ball inside-out, we were great.”

As a team, Logan made good on 31-of-64 shots (48 percent) and 31-of-41 free tosses (76 percent).

Kaskaskia was paced offensively by Elijah Watson’s 24 points. The Blue Devils won the rebounding battle, 40-to-37.

Logan plays host to Rend Lake at 3 p.m. Saturday.