Paine basketball falls in college classic finale

Paine College

Nov. 17, 2013 AUGUSTA, Ga. – After a strong opening night, both Paine College basketball teams fell at home during day two of the Paine College Classic Presented by the Hilton Garden Inn. The Lady Lions (1-1) were beat by the Lions from Langston University (1-3) 97-94. Georgia College (2-1) defeated the men’s team (2-1) 67-61.

With two games in the books for the Lady Lions this season, the team is averaging 94 points a game led by the fiery shooting efforts of guard Ashley Watts. Watts scored 34 points against Langston along with seven assists. The junior was 11-of-21 from the field and she was hot from behind the arc making 6-of-11 3-pointers. Lashonda Canty (16 points), Ariel Brown (15 points) and Imani Parr (11 points) also scored in double figures. The Lady Lions rebounding efforts were led by Brown with five offensive and four defensive boards. Langston duo Lynette Holmes and Lensy Hardy led their team with scoring as they each had 26 points.

“I was so proud of the way our team competed,” said head coach Willie Adams. “They competed at a higher level than what I’ve seen in a long time here at Paine College. The will to win is what they are going to need for the whole season. We have to keep getting the small things right. We keep saying ‘get it right’.”

As a team, the Purple and White shot extremely well from the field. The Lady Lions hit 28-of-55 for 51 percent field goal shooting and they sunk another 9-of-18 3-pointers to shoot 50 percent from behind the arc.

On the men’s side, Darius Smith put up 16 points and seven rebounds to lead the team in scoring and finish the night second for Paine in rebounds. Sean Morgan (10 points, eight rebounds) and Kenny Fluellen (12 points) also helped propel the Lions to a close game with the Bobcats. Georgia College’s Ryan Blumenthal scored 21 points for his team to lead the game in scoring.

Paine shot 38 percent from the field (24-64) and hit 3-of-10 3-pointers. At the line, the Lions shot 67 percent.

At the half, Paine held a small lead at 33-32. Throughout the second quarter, the lead changed several times with both teams keeping it close. Georgia College pulled far enough away to secure the win in the last seconds after breaking a tie with 3:56 remaining.

Both Paine teams have concluded their games for the Paine College Classic and have benefitted greatly from them.

“This is the first time in three years that I have gotten to start my season at home, stated Adams. “It paid big dividends because in the end it gave our team a boost.”

The Lady Lions return to the court on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the HEAL Complex. The men host Talladega Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. as part of the HBCU Classic Presented by the Sheraton of Augusta.