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Men's Basketball - Fri, Jan. 10, 2014


Saturday, January 11 at 3:00 pm

UTPB Gym (Odessa, Texas)



Radio: KJAK 92.7 FM


About Texas-Permian Basin

The Falcons' most recent contest was an 81-72 exhibition win against Arlington Baptist on Tuesday, whom the Chaps defeated 87-64 the night before. UTPB (8-4, 2-2 Heartland) has dropped its last two conference contests to Texas A&M International (77-72) and St. Mary's (79-71 in OT) and opened the conference schedule with wins versus Dallas Baptist (80-66) and Oklahoma Christian (110-101 in OT).  The Falcons are led by senior forward Dwayne Soders, who leads the conference in points per game at 19.2 and rebounding at 11.1. Soders is a two-time Heartland Conference Player of the Week.  Four more players average double-figure scoring: junior guard Thomas Feeney (15.3), senior guards Anthony Dees (13.2) and Phadarius Taylor (11.3) and senior forward Keith Martin (10.3).


History Between Chaps and Falcons

LCU leads the all-time series, 8-0, over UTPB. The teams last met during the 2011-12 season on November 5, with the Chaps earning an 80-68 win, giving Head Coach Todd Duncan his first win as a Chap, while for the Falcons it was an exhibition contest.


Last Meeting Between the Teams

Lubbock Christian University first-year head coach Todd Duncan received his first taste of victory November 5, 2001, as Anthony Brancato recorded his second consecutive double-double to lift LCU to an 80-68 victory in their home opener, which began with a banner raising complimenting the efforts of former head coach John Copeland and his 31 years coaching the Chaparrals. The Chaps received a balance attack with four players in double figures and a pair of double-doubles.  Brancato, who had career highs in the season opener with a double-double, produced a new career high with 19 points and also matched his career-high rebound total from Monday with 10 rebounds.  Point guard Rashad Sample matched a career-high and program record (for a third time) with 12 assists, and completed the double-double with 14 points.  Douglas Williams (18) and Ricky Roberts (12) also produced double figures in points for LCU. The Falcons jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but the Chaps responded with an 11-2 run and took a 13-10 lead.  The Chaps extended the lead to 38-29 at the half and led as much as 59-37 with 11:15 remaining in the second half.  LCU shot 61.5% (16/26) from the field in the first half and 56.4% (31/55) in the game, while holding UTPB to 38.5% (25/65) in the game.  Elijah Jordan led UTPB in the loss with 12 points.


Brancato From the Start

Senior forward Anthony Brancato has started half of the team's 10 contests this season, with his statistics being measurably better than when he comes off of the bench. When opening the game, the Houston, Texas, native averages 24.6 minutes per contest, along with 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He hits 54 percent of his shots in his starts, including 56 percent from the three-point line. As a sub, his numbers dip to 14.6 minutes a game, 5.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, .360 field goal percentage and .266 percentage from deep. The Chaps are 4-1 with Brancato in the starting lineup and 2-4 without.


Relying on Eli

During the 2012-13 season, senior Eli Baker garnered Second Team All-SAC honors and the forward from Arlington, Texas, is picking up right where he left off, leading LCU with 8.4 rebounds per game and is second in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per outing. Baker has been the Chaps most consistent performer in 2012-13, recording seven double figure scoring games and leading LCU in rebounding on eight occasions to go along with his team-high two double-doubles. Baker scored a career-high 21 points versus Eastern New Mexico on November 19 and reeled in a season high 13 boards against St. Mary's on January 2.


Ford Tough

Perhaps the most celebratory moment of the season thus far for the Chaps came from senior guard Jeremy Ford's game-winning three-point buzzer beater at Eastern New Mexico on November 26. While his heroics were heralded in that contest, Ford's ability to direct his team and steady play go somewhat unnoticed. He has not lead the Chaps in scoring or even notched a double-digit scoring game, but directs the Chaps while playing 25.2 minutes per game and dishing out 4.4 assists. The Varnville, SC, native has recorded 44 assists on the season compared to just 11 turnovers for a 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. As of January 6, that puts him number one in the conference, with the next closest competitor registering just a 3.0 ratio. If LCU's statistics were to be counted nationally, Ford would have the sixth best ratio in Division II, and the 14th best in all three NCAA divisions.


Hitting the Mark

Seven Chaps are hitting at least 50 percent of their shots, with sophomore Tyler Rogers shooting at a 61.4% clip to sit seventh in the Heartland Conference rankings and tied for 32nd in the nation. Senior Eli Baker's .545 shooting percentage has him tied for 15th place in the Heartland. The other five players do not have enough makes per game to qualify for the rankings, but the group has propelled the Chaps to second place in the conference standings in team field goal percentage at .521 and tie for seventh nationally.  LCU has also been quite effective from the charity stripe, knocking down a league-high 77.4% of their freebies and also connecting on 40% of their shots from deep for a conference fourth-best.


Cardona Making Presence Felt

Freshman Isaac Cardona is making the most of his 16.3 minutes a game, scoring 6.9 points per contest while hitting 67 percent of his field goals (28-of-42). Despite playing most of his minutes inside the paint, the Port Lavaca, Texas, product has shown his ability to step out and knock down shots when needed and has taken care of the ball, only committing five turnovers thus far. During the Chaps' lone conference win on December 14, an 87-77 victory at Oklahoma Christian, Cardona played a season-high 29 minutes, posting 11 points and five boards. In the win at Eastern New Mexico on November 26, Cardona was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring on five of his seven attempts, including a stretch of three straight for the Chaps. He also hit 4-of-5 from the free throw line and contributed two assists and two steals in the 72-69 victory. Cardona suffered an ankle injury during Wednesday's practice and is doubtful for Saturday's game.


Balanced Chap Attack

In the 10 contests of the 2013-14 season, the Chaps have been led by eight different leading scorers. Anthony Brancato, Quay Johnson, Ridrell Holman, Isaac Cardona, AJ Luckey, Eli Baker, Tyler Rogers and Beau Durham have all earned team-highs in scoring during at least one game. Johnson and Holman shared the honors with 15 points each in the win versus the University of the Southwest on November 21, and Luckey and Baker each scored 14 in a 61-59 loss at Dallas Baptist on December 12. Johnson, Holman, Brancato and Luckey have each lead the Chaps in scoring on two occasions.


Early Chap Dominance Leads to Non-Conference Win

Lubbock Christian opened the contest against Arlington Baptist on a 20-2 run en route to an 87-64 victory in non-conference action, with Beau Durham scoring a career-high 19 points on a perfect 9-of-9 from the floor Monday night at The Rip Griffin Center. The Patriots (4-7) were unable to keep pace with LCU's 18 fast break and 54 points in the paint throughout the evening. In the first half, the Chaps 24 made field goals matched the 24 attempted by ABC, with the Patriots connecting on only seven. The Chaps (6-4, 1-3 Heartland) went ahead 4-2 on a score by Anthony Brancato and never relinquished the lead. LCU extended their advantage to double digits on an upcourt pass from Jeremy Ford to A.J. Luckey who found a trailing Brancato for a layup to put LCU on top, 12-2. A jumper and dunk by Durham pushed the lead to 18-2 before ABC's Raphael Garcia made a three-pointer for his team's second field goal of the half seven minutes in for a 20-5 score. LCU put together another run, outscoring the Patriots 19-5, to extend the lead 39-10 on a lob from Isaac Cardona to Tyler Rogers for a dunk with 4:46 to play. A three-pointer from Aaron Stephenson half-a-minute later pushed the Chaps in front by 30, but the Patriots managed to stay even with LCU during the final minutes of the first half, resulting in a 52-22 LCU lead. The Patriots continued their steady play and were able to hold their own in the second stanza, outscoring LCU 42-35. Durham continued his preciseness on the floor, converting a dunk on an assist by Ridrell Holman and hitting a jumper at the 14:35 mark to sustain the Chaps' 30-point advantage. Garcia hit two three-pointers and Jeremiah Ford sank two free throws to narrow the gap to 62-40. Rogers scored seven of his 11 second half points on a three-point play with under nine minutes to go for a 69-42 LCU edge, then hit two free throws and a layup on a feed from Stephenson to put LCU up 75-47. Marcus Arrington converted a tough reverse layup to put LCU on top 79-52, but the Patriots mounted together an 11-0 run to slice the lead to 79-63, the closest ABC had been since the 14:25 mark of the first half. Jacob Dawson drained a three in the closing minutes and Stephenson scored a three-pointer and layup on his way to a career-high 13 points to extend the final score to 87-64. Brancato continued his stellar play from Saturday night, collecting 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Eli Baker grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and Arrington handed out a game-high five assists. Garcia scored 16 for the Patriots, while Eric Wood contributed 11 and Ford added 10.