College Basketball: Aurora University rolls to victory
By Bill Kindt For Sun-Times Media December 8, 2012 7:32PM
Scott Laskowski (3) of Aurora University goes up for a left handed layup over Logan Harris of Dominican. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 10:42PM
When the big dogs are hungry you have to let them eat.
Aurora University’s band of ravenous canines dined early and often at Thornton Gym Saturday in a 106-66 carving of Dominican University.
It was never really a game.
The Spartans (5-3, 4-0 in the Northern Athletics Conference) scored the first 10 points, opened up an 18-point (54-36) halftime lead and coasted the final 20 minutes.
“I feel really good about our effort tonight,” AU coach James Lancaster said. “We wondered how we’d play coming back home. We’d been on the road for six games in a row.”
That concern, as it turned out, wasn’t valid.
The Spartans took huge bites out of the Stars (3-5, 2-2) with their suffocating defense, unselfish teamwork, uncanny shot selection and outstanding depth.
Lancaster was like a band director. He used 16 players and every one of them contributed in some way.
AU shot 60 percent (44 of 73) from the field, held a 39-30 rebound edge and turned the ball over just eight times.
Then there was the defense. The Spartans gave up some baskets with their double-teaming, ball-hawking play but also created easy fastbreak baskets with 15 steals.
“Those guys (the Spartans) started smelling the blood a little bit,” Lancaster said. “It wasn’t anything coaching that we did, they just felt the energy and came at them like a pack of dogs.”
In fact, the Spartans put on a clinic.
Time after time a Spartan would pass up a good shot in order to pass the ball to a teammate with a better shot. AU had assists on 24 baskets with Marious Lobdell (17 points) leading the way with five.
Junior Scott Laskowski played only 18 minutes but led the Spartans with 19 points and six rebounds. Freshman Kalmon Stokes was in double figures six minutes into the game and finished with 17 points while Marquis Lobdell added 14.
But Lancaster also had outstanding efforts from seniors Esteban Vega and Mike Bumber, sophomores James McKinnon and Joe Kwiatkowski and freshman CJ Schutt.
Vega led the Spartans with four steals, Bumber had a dunk following a Vega steal, McKinnon flashed instant offense with six points in six minutes, Kwiatkowski was a bear on defense and Schutt had nine points and five rebounds.
“If anybody got tired out there we had guys ready to come in and this was the best chemistry and unselfishness we’ve shown,” Lancaster said.
AU women 67,
The Spartans surpassed last year’s victory total by outscoring the Stars, 33-26, in the second half.
AU improved to 3-5 overall after winning just two games last season.
Freshman Ciara Marlow scored 21 points and Bethany Dorrington added 17 to pace AU while Marta Medina had seven rebounds off the bench.