January 21, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

ROBINSON – Just a day after the John A. Logan College men's basketball team received its highest national ranking ever at No. 5, the Volunteers dropped a heart-breaker on the road to Lincoln Trail, 75-72.


Rebounding proved to be a key as the Statesmen outboarded the Vols 40-to-28, including five offensive rebounds on one possession.
Logan was led offensively by sophomore guard Devontavius Payne's 30 points. No other Vol reached double digits. Anthony Campbell checked in with nine. Ranell Crossland and Rashaun Richardson each tallied eight. Jalen Perry notched seven. Jarvis Calhoun accounted for six. Jerome Davis and Tamas Bruce chipped in two points apiece.

Bruce missed most of the game as he battled foul problems. He, along with Richardson, ended up fouling out.

The Vols led by as many as nine points in the first half at 18-9. The score was tied at 36 all at the half. Logan then built a four-point lead in the second half at 58-54 on a triple by Calhoun. A basket by Perry kept the spread at four at 60-56, but the Statesmen would rally.

The Vols took their last lead of the night at 66-65 on a basket by Payne.

“No rebounds. We just got soft,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “We had a couple of guys that didn’t step up. Call it a lack of preparation and that’s my fault. I didn’t prepare the guys for the kind of intensity Lincoln Trail would bring tonight. Their backs were against the wall. They had to win this game, and they did.”

Smithpeters said the Vols had their opportunities.

“Tamas Bruce played about five minutes tonight. I thought there were times we settled for some outside shots, but then again, a lot of those are shots we’ve made all season. What really hurt us was the rebounding. You can’t give up 20 offensive rebounds and expect to win on the road very often. We were soft. They wanted to get their nose dirty and we didn’t.”

Now 8-1 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 17-2 overall, Logan hosts Shawnee at 3 p.m. Saturday.