Panthers Feast on Mustangs

Men’s Basketball tops century mark
Calvin Washington, senior, one-hand jams an alley-oop in the second half against Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Washington led all scorers with 22 points.
Calvin Washington, senior, one-hand jams an alley-oop in the second half against Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Washington led all scorers with 22 points.
Staff Photo
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  • Tahli Oden, senior, gets the dunk fest going for the Panthers Saturday with this throw-down at the 16:59 mark in the first period.

  • Bryant Wall, junior, slams it home in the second period against Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

  • Darwin Randolph, junior, records one of his dunks on the afternoon in the Panthers’ 107-52 trouncing of the Mustangs on Saturday.

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At first glance, a casual observer might think the men’s basketball team is in the donut business.

That’s because of all the Dunkin’ that was going on Saturday afternoon against Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

The thesaurus has terms for what happened in Swartz Gym. Terms such as: blown out, demolished, crushed, routed, pulverized. Even Waffle House has words to describe it: Smattered, smothered, and covered.

And while the Panthers were not ordering a side of hash browns to go with the humble pie they were serving, they did flatten MACU like pancakes 107-52.

Calvin Washington, senior, led all scorers with 22 points. Darwin Randolph, junior, and Jikari Johnson, junior, tossed in 19 and 18 respectively. Together, the three accounted for 59 points, already surpassing the MACU total.

Johnson began the bucket-fest for the Panthers, scoring on a layup off a Kyree Ellis steal and assist just seconds into the contest. The Mustangs evened the score 2-2 at the 17:49 mark, but it would be the last time in the game they got close. Johnson added a three-pointer at the 17:32 mark to go up 5-2, and the Panthers never looked back.

Tahli Oden threw down the first dunk at the 16:59 mark from an assist by Washington, and at the 16:25 mark, Johnson assisted Washington on an alley-oop to make the score 9-2 Panthers.

The Panther defense held strong, and Johnson’s pull-up jumper put Ferrum up 15-4 with 13:35 remaining in the half.

Johnson and Washington added more dunks at the 10:18 and 4:36 marks, respectively, and the Panthers were rolling, 35-18. Johnson’s three-pointer with :08 ticks left in the period put the the Panthers up 47-25 at the break.

The second half saw more of the same, with Ferrum clamping down defensively and the bench getting into the action.

Charles Tart opened up the period with a three-pointer that put the Panthers up 50-25, and Ellis added a layup at 17:57 to double the Mustangs’ score 54-27.

Then, with 16:25 remaining, Tart lobbed an alley-oop assist to Washington who promptly stuffed it through the rim to make it 56-27.

Johnson then drained a three, Tart laid one in, and Bryant Wall also added a layup before MACU logged any more points. And when Sterling Charles nailed a three with 13:20 left in the game, the Panthers were up 66-29.

Randolph logged one of his four steals on the afternoon at the 11:43 mark, took it the length of the floor and added another dunk to the total. The slam put the Panthers up 70-33. He recorded another dunk off a Charles assist to make it 76-35 with 10:20 remaining.

Charles and Randolph then switched roles, as Randolph assisted Charles on a three-pointer to make it 79-37. Randolph continued the defensive pressure, tallying two more steals and another dunk with 4:34 remaining to make the score 92-42.

The high-water mark came with 2:05 remaining when James McCreary, freshman, pulled up for a mid-range jumper and hit the century mark for the Panthers, 100-46. Randolph added a step-back three with 1:34 left to make it 103-49.

Randolph and EJ McCarthur, sophomore, provided the final points on the afternoon with driving lay-ups that completed the 107-52 thrashing.

Post game, Head Coach Patrick Corrigan concentrated more on the nuts and bolts of the contest.

“I was glad that we defended throughout the game,” he said. “We tried to stay on the things we were working on in practice. We veered away from it at times and got a little sloppy, but I was happy that the guys kept defending and kept rebounding–and our transition defense–things we work on every day. I was more excited about that.”

It was the home and season opener for Corrigan’s team, a game that saw 14 Panthers contribute buckets.

“Any time you do that, it’s awesome. And all the guys cheering for each other is something not to take for granted,” he said. “It’s a testament to how together we are right now. It’s something we are very conscious and aware about as we go through the year. We’re together right now, and we’re going to hit some adversity at some point, and that’s the true test of how together we are.”

Big wins can often present let-downs in the next outing, but Corrigan hopes to keep the team grounded.

“A challenge for every team every year is ball security. We had 11 turnovers today, which is OK, but all good teams take care of the ball. That’s obviously something we’re going to continue to work on, but it’s going to be about watching film and preparing for the next team.”

He said it is also about continuing to build the team culture.

“So far, our guys understand the bigger mission,” he said. “I think some of that is the guys returning. You know, we got our butts kicked a little bit last year. More than anything, we remember that.”

The Panthers have three home games coming up.

“We’ve got a big one Tuesday night against Southern Virginia, and then one Friday night and then one Sunday, so hopefully we’ll have some good crowds and build some momentum.”

Tuesday night’s game will begin at 7 p.m. in Swartz Gym. Friday’s against Lynchburg will begin at 6 p.m., and Sunday’s game verses Regent will begin at 4 p.m.










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