Colleges

Kindred, Crawley Key St. Aug Win In CIAA Men's Basketball Opener

Posted January 3, 2013

— On a night when both Saint Augustine’s University and Virginia State University struggled offensively, the Falcons won the battle of the boards to pull out a 61-58 men’s basketball victory in the CIAA opener at Daniel Gymnasium on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

The Falcons upped their record to 8-3 overall after their third straight win. More importantly, they are 1-0 in the CIAA.

“This was a big win,” St. Aug Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said about his Falcons, picked to finish last in the Southern Division. “You want to get off to a good start in conference play.”

Guard Joel Kindred (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) and center Jonathan Crawley (So./Richmond, Va.) scored 12 points each, but it was their rebounding which put the Falcons on top.

Crawley rebounded a VSU miss which could have tied the game late. He was fouled with 3.9 seconds left and calmly sank the first free throw for a 61-58 lead. He missed the second but Kindred outbattled a Trojan player for the rebound as they fell to the floor and flipped a pass to an open Percy Woods (Sr./Washington, D.C.), who dribbled away from the VSU defenders as time expired.

The final seconds were a reflection of the entire game. The Falcons outrebounded the Trojans 44-32 with Chris Johnson (R-Jr./Hampton, Va.) leading the way with eight rebounds. Crawley and Chris Campbell (So./Chesapeake, Va.) both added five rebounds and Kindred collected four rebounds. The Falcons had more offensive boards (21-13).

The offensive rebounds led to a 16-5 edge in second-chance points which contributed to a 30-18 advantage in inside points. Dominating the backboards was crucial in a contest where both teams shot under 40 percent. The Falcons are one of the best teams in Division II when it comes to rebounding margin.

“We didn’t play particularly well but we kept fighting,” Blow said. “We had to get some second and third shot opportunities. Johnson and Crawley did a good job of battling inside.”

Blow had high praise for Crawley. The huge 6-8 center was a dominating force in the paint off the bench. Listed at 340 pounds on the roster, Crawley is lighter these days after playing 11 games. He was 5-for-6 from the floor in 20 minutes of action.

In the second half, Crawley scored on a nifty move around the basket which got the defender off his feet. The layup and a blocked shot by Crawley later in the half drew roars from the crowd. In the final seconds of the game, Kenny Mitchell of VSU, who is 6-9, attempted to shoot over the Crawley but was short which led to Crawley’s rebound and free throw.

“[Crawley] has been coming on the last few games,” Blow said.

Forward Joel Watson (Fr./Smithfield, N.C.) added eight points for the Falcons. Guard Nick Chamblee (Sr./Hampton, Va.) and Woods each scored seven points and Woods dished out four assists. Christopher Greer of the Trojans led all scorers with 18 points and Mike Bynum added 17 but VSU received minimal contributions from the rest of the team, especially on the boards.

The Falcons led at halftime 31-30 despite being outshot 48 percent to 36 percent. They took advantage of nine offensive rebounds for a 12-0 edge in second-chance points. With Crawley leading the way with nine points, the Falcons outscored the Trojans 17-2 in bench points. Kindred and Chamblee each added five points.

The Falcons will play their sixth consecutive game away from home on Saturday, Jan. 5., when they visit Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, N.C. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Vaughn Center.

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