Home Longwood clamps down on Bethune-Cookman, wins 69-48 to improve to 6-1
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Longwood clamps down on Bethune-Cookman, wins 69-48 to improve to 6-1

Chris Graham

longwoodLongwood answered the bell with a dominant second-half defensive display in a 69-48 win over Bethune-Cookman on Sunday, the Lancers’ sixth straight victory that also kept them undefeated at the Joan Perry Brock Center.

The Lancers (6-1) only allowed Bethune-Cookman (3-4) to make five shots in the final 20 minutes, and the suffocating defense gave the team its best record through seven games since the program’s Division II days in 2000-2001.

It was a day where nothing came easy on the offensive end for a Longwood team that came in averaging nearly 80 points per game. Three players finished in double figures for Longwood, but seemingly every possession was contested as both teams played their third game in three days.

Instead, it was the defense that brought its hard hat and lunch pail to do the dirty work.

“I think these tournaments are so good because it really exposes a lot of our strengths and weaknesses,” Longwood coach Griff Aldrich said. “It also is really helpful for the guys. They hear the things you are telling them in practice, or you play one game, and sometimes they don’t believe you. But when they see it over and over, boom, boom, boom, boom, that’s really important.”

Johnathan Massie led Longwood with 18 points, and Walyn Napper, who delivered 13 points, and both were seemingly everywhere defensively. The duo racked up 10 steals, with seven coming after halftime. They repeatedly stepped into passing lanes and took the ball from Bethune-Cookman as part of an aggressive swarming defense that closed off every option.

DA Houston chipped in with 15 points, one shy of his career high, and he provided his trademark grit as well in a team-leading 30 minutes.

Longwood stays home for one more game before hitting the road, as the team hosts Newport News Apprentice School on Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m. The match will air on ESPN+ and on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.

Tickets are still available for the game at www.longwoodlancers.com/tickets.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].