MARIETTA, Ohio — The Wilmington College men’s basketball team led wire-to-wire in a convincing 93-61 victory over La Roche College in game one of the 2021 Great Lakes Invitational hosted by Marietta College Friday afternoon.
The Fightin’ Quakers started the game hot, scoring on 6-of-8 possessions to begin the game which included points from five different players — Jayden Lewis, Bilal Sow, Andrew Clark, Obed Achirem and Collmann Aaron — to take a 14-2 lead not five minutes into the game. That advantage would balloon to 21 points six minutes later as Sow nailed his second triple of the game with nine minutes to play in the first half.
Aaron, who had nailed two three-pointers already, hit consecutive long-range shots at 7:01 and 6:25, forcing La Roche head coach Hermie Carmichael to call timeout with his team trailing 33-8. The Redhawks would not get within 20 points the rest of the half as Aaron connected on his fifth triple of the half with under a minute to play. La Roche did make the last field goal of the half, but trailed 46-24 at the break.
La Roche (0-4) would get a close as 17 points (50-33) early in the second half, but was unable to trim the deficit any more.
“It was a great team effort all around today,” WC men’s basketball head coach K.C. Hunt said. “One of the things we’ve been challenging the guys to do is play a full game with sustained effort for the full 40 minutes. I’m really proud of how we competed.”
The Quakers had a stellar shooting performance at all levels, making 30-of-57 (52.6 percent) from the floor, 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) from distance and 18-of-24 (75.0 percent) from the free throw line. Wilmington, which had been out-rebounded by double digits in each of its first two games, grabbed 41 boards compared to 30 for La Roche. The Redhawks somewhat recovered from a dysmal first-half percentage (27.8 percent) to finish the game 21-of-52 (40.4 percent). La Roche hit just 2-of-20 (10.0 percent) from distance, however, and committed 21 turnovers.
Individually, Aaron poured in a career-high 25 points in 18 minutes off the bench, connected on 8-of-11 triple tries. Lewis and Achirem finished with double figures as well with Archirem rallying his first collegiate double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds to go along with three steals.
Jeffery Mansfield had just six points but handed out a team-best seven assists, came up with two steals and had one of two WC blocks.
Wilmington (1-2) will face Hendrix College (Arkansas) tomorrow (Saturday) at 1 p.m.