College basketball: Aurora U. wears down Blackburn
By Bill Kindt For Sun-Times Media December 17, 2012 10:32PM
Aurora University's Scott Laskowski puts up a hook shot while being defended by Blackburn College's Matt Chandler. | Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 17, 2012 10:41PM
When a struggling team starts a game with all guns blazing there can be cause for alarm.
Winless Blackburn College (0-9) dropped seven of its first eight shots Monday night at Thornton Gym and took a 25-18 lead on somewhat surprised Aurora University.
Was it time to panic? Hardly.
There wasn’t a shred of worry on the Spartans. Instead, they used their depth and quickness to put together a 14-0 run and went on to an 87-63 victory.
The slow start wasn’t a surprise to AU head coach James Lancaster.
“We were really concerned about tonight’s game,” Lancaster said. “We knew Blackburn was young and athletic, and we leave for (Las) Vegas in about nine hours. They (the Spartans) were chanting Vegas in the locker room just before the game.”
AU plays its next two games — Thursday against Presentation College and Friday against UW-Oshkosh — in the D3 Las Vegas Shootout.
Whether that or eight of Blackburn’s Brandon Adams’ game-high 21 points bothered the Spartans isn’t known. What is known is that AU simply wore down Blackburn with its depth, quickness, defense and teamwork.
“I thought we did a good job of dialing up the defense the second half,” Lancaster said. “Our depth eventually wore a young team down.”
Scott Laskowski paced the Spartans offensively with 17 points, but Marious Lobdell added 15, Marquis Lobdell 13 and Mike Bumber 12. Lancaster rotated 13 players in and out of the lineup the entire game.
Marious Lobdell had an outstanding game with eight assists and two steals to go with his 15 points.
“He was one of the hidden gems tonight with eight assists and only two turnovers,” Lancaster said. “That follows up the game Esteban Vega had (against Millikin) with nine assists. And, if we continue to do that (share the ball) we could have something special (but) we aren’t there yet.”
Aurora 69, Blackburn 43 — The Spartans won their fourth game, doubling last year’s win total. AU (4-6) jumped to a 34-20 halftime lead and was never in any trouble.
“We started out a little sluggish,” AU coach Ari Iventosch said. “But once we settled down we had a little run.”
Shay Jenkins scored 17 points while Neely Marks added 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Spartans, who also got 11 points off the bench from Joree Green.
AU shot 45 percent from the field and had 22 assists. The Spartans did give up 19 offensive rebounds to Blackburn.
“That’s way too many and we’ll be working on that in practice,” Iventosch said.
The Spartans play host to Augustana at 7 p.m. Thursday.