From: ULM Athletics
MONROE, La. – For the second consecutive game, ULM put seven scorers in double figures as the Warhawks rolled to a 105-56 win over NAIA Central Baptist Monday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
“It was an all-around effort,” ULM head coach Keith Richard said. “Anytime you have seven guys in double figures, no matter who you play, that’s a good thing. We did a good job of scoring the ball at the rim, inside the 3-point line. We only shot 18 3’s in the game.”
Nika Metskhvarishvili led the early charge, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers, and finished with 15 points. Victor Bafutto matched a career-high with 14 points while going 6-of-6 from the field. Savion Gallion and Tyreke Locure tallied 13 points each, Thomas Howell and Langston Powell had 12 points apiece and Devon Hancock had his first double-figure game as a Warhawk with 11 points.
The two sides traded blows early, with ULM taking a 19-15 lead with 12:44 left in the half. The Warhawks, using some energy off the bench, started to shut down the Mustangs on the defensive end, sparking a 13-0 run. Howell hit back-to-back jumpers and Metskhvarishvili buried his third 3-pointer of the first half before the run ended with ULM on top, 32-15, with 8:37 to go to halftime. CBC would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
“As the game was moving along, especially in the middle of the first half, I really started trying to focus on our defense,” Richard said. “I want to make note we put that second group in, so to speak, about the 12-minute mark and that lead shot out there. It was because they were getting stops. All we had to do was get stops and we were going to score on the other end. They did a really nice job for about six or seven minutes.
“Then the starting group came back in,” Richard said. “They saw what they had done defensively and they did a pretty nice job to end the half.”
ULM built a 53-30 halftime lead, thanks to a 63% shooting effort in the first half. The Warhawks hit 19-of-30 shots from the field, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range (42%). Metskhavarishvili scored 11 of his 15 points before halftime, while Howell also had double figures with 10 at the break. Hancock and Locure had nine points each in the first half en route to double-digit nights.
The hot shooting continued into the second half. Bafutto, Gallion and Powell showed out in the second half. Bafutto scored 12 of his 14 points after the break, while Gallion scored nine of his 13 and Powell had eight of his 12. ULM shot 61% in the second half (19-of-31) and attempted just six 3-pointers, going 2-of-6 from deep.
ULM finished the night shooting 62.3% from the field (38-of-61) and 38.9% from 3-point range (7-of-18). The Warhawks limited Central Baptist to just 30.8% from the floor (20-of-65) and 21.4% from long range (6-for-28). ULM dominated on the glass, 51-23, including 12 offensive rebounds.
“The games don’t go perfect, even when you’re doing well or playing a lower-division team, so to speak,” Richard said. “It doesn’t always go perfect, and it gives us a chance to coach them and gives us a chance to sub and work with different groups and get a lot of positives on the night.”
The Warhawks visit No. 15/18 TCU at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first game of the Emerald Coast Classic.