Longwood knocks off rust, cruises past Pfeiffer, 109-69
Two weeks between games is a long, long time in the midst of basketball season, but the Longwood men’s basketball team shrugged off the stretch and stretched themselves out on Wednesday night in Willett Hall.
The result? A commanding 109-69 win over visiting Pfeiffer University that saw Longwood (8-5) top 100 points for the first time this season. The win also helped the Lancers move to 8-1 in Willett Hall.
Isaiah Wilkins led the charge with 21 points as all 13 Lancers that played scored. Zac Watson added 16 points, his career high as a Lancer, and Justin Hill pitched in 15 points. DeShaun Wade chipped in 12 more points as Longwood shot .605 (23-38) from the floor in the first half and .547 (41-75) in the game.
“This has been a hard couple of weeks for these guys, expecting to play on the 30th and then not playing, expecting to play on the fifth, a conference game, and you don’t have that,” said Longwood head coach Griff Aldrich after his team has had three of its previous four games canceled or postponed.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty, which is atypical for what these guys go through. They come to play the games. As much as they love me and practice, they really enjoy the games. I was proud of them, they came out and scored it effectively here on the front end. I thought there was some crispness, at least, on the offensive end.”
Hill led the charge early, exploding out of the gates with relentless energy. He charged to the basket for Longwood’s first bucket, and the Lancers never looked back as they led wire to wire.
The defense was equally aggressive, holding Pfeiffer to one made shot over the first six minutes as the Lancers raced out to a 25-3 lead. Six different players scored in that run, and Lognwood led by at least 20 for the remainder of the night.
For Pfeiffer (4-4), Jerome Savoy and Taylan Rowe combined to hit nine three’s as each scored 22 points, but no one else hit more than two shots for the Falcons as the Lancer defense flexed its muscle. Coming in as the second-ranked unit in the Big South in points allowed, Longwood forced 19 turnovers while also holding Pfeiffer to .373 (25-67) from the floor.
“I thought it was inconsistent effort at times, but I thought there was a desire to do it,” said Aldrich. “I did tell the guys, I was very proud. We were up 20-something at halftime. Oftentimes, you see guys end up playing the second half where the scores are close, 41-38, 38-39, something like that just trading baskets and trying to get through the game. These guys, we won the second half by 16. I think they did come back out and answer the bell a little bit and say that we needed to tighten things back up a little bit.”
Longwood heads into conference play, and for the latest in schedule updates, announcements and postponements, head to longwoodlancers.com.