By Renaldo Dorsett
Tribune Sports Reporter
SEVERAL Bahamian players set new career high scoring marks in NCAA Division I basketball over the course of the holiday season.
Travis Munnings made a career high eight three pointers en route to his career high 32 points in the fourth straight win for the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.
The Warhawks improved to 7-4 with an 80-63 win over the winless Coppin State Eagles. It was their fourth consecutive win and first of four straight games at home. It was also a pair of milestones for Warhawks head coach Keith Richard with his 100th win at the helm and 250th of his career.
“I think that was really special for him,” Munnings said. “He really puts in the work for us to be good. He tries to give us the right scouting reports and the right things to be successful on the court. I’m happy for him and proud for him to reach the 100 mark.”
Munnings scored 14 of ULM’s first 24 points and keyed a 13-0 run late in the second half. He had 16 at the break and ULM led 36-26. Munnings also led the Warhawks with eight rebounds.
After a slow start to the season that saw their record dip below .500, the fourth straight win gives Richard and his team confidence headed into Sun Belt conference play.
“I’m really happy about the win,” Richard said. “It makes you hesitate for a minute and realise you’ve been doing it a long time. I’m appreciative and happy that I’m able to do it at my alma mater. I’m super happy about my team. That was a grind game. They’re not all going to be pretty. We’re not going to jump out to double-digit leads like we’ve done the last three games. We had to gut this one out.”
A Preseason All-Conference selection, Munnings is averaging 14.5 points and a team leading 6.6 rebounds per game this season.
In the Southland Conference, Nathan Bain reached double figure scoring for the third time this season and set his new career high.
Bain scored 11 points in his Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks’ 97-47 win over the Arlington Baptist Patriots. He was one of six Lumberjacks in double figures.
SFA began the game on a 14-3 run and led early. After a Patriots score, Bain would score consecutive baskets to put SFA up by double figures for the remainder of the night.
Bain came into the season with a previous career high of eight points, but has reached double figures three times this season. The junior forward is averaging 6.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, both career highs.
Last season, Bain appeared in 24 of the ‘Jacks’ 35 games and averaged 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocked shots in 6.4 minutes per game.
Charles Bain has increased his scoring average by two points per game in the month of December.
He finished with a team high 18 points in his Robert Morris Colonials’ 73-59 loss to the Louisville Cardinals. Bain had one of his most efficient shooting games of the season - 6-9 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc. He was also 3-3 from the free throw line and added four rebounds.
Bain knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions that helped the Colonials open up a 39-31 lead at the 17:53 mark of the second half, but a 9-0 surge pushed Louisville in front, 40-39.
Over his last five games the sophomore forward is providing the Colonials with an average of 12.4 points per game.
He has scored at least nine points in every game of December and reached double figures three times.
Jaron Cornish produced one his most complete games of the season in a 76-73 win for the Stony Brook Seawolves over the Quinnipiac.
The senior point guard finished with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Cornish recorded his second game of 10 or more points in the last three games and is now averaging 4.8 assists over his last five games.
“Awesome win for our guys. Could not be prouder of them coming in and responding after the Hofstra game. Guys stepped up and that’s what great teams do. I thought our bench was phenomenal. They really stepped up and multiple guys gave us great minutes and helped us get the win,” said head coach Jeff Boals.
The Seawolves continue their hot start, winning a D1-record 11th non-conference game with a chance at a 12th.
Radshad Davis and the Texas-Arlington Mavericks finally brought their seven-game losing streak to an end with a 75-70 win over Cal Poly.
He finished with seven points and four rebounds in just 18 foul-plagued minutes.
The Mavericks held Cal Poly scoreless over the final six minutes of regulation to force overtime and eventually earn their first win of the year.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys fought. It started at the defensive end – holding them without a point over the final six minutes allowed us to get back in the game,” head coach Chris Ogden said. “Everyone had a hand in this win. It’s a great way to build some momentum heading into a short break.”