CANYON, Texas (November 15, 2018) – Brennen Fowler's double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) was not enough to lead Lubbock Christian University past No.4/7 West Texas A&M, as the Buffs received a combined 41 points from Ryan Quaid (21) and Joel Murray (20 points) to win their home opener 82-70 Thursday night inside First United Bank Center.
LCU had to climb a mountain early on, as the Buffs jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the opening 10 minutes. The Chaps were held to two field goals on 10 attempts in the opening 10 minutes, while WT was 8-of-13 from the field in the same span. LCU closed with offensive precision, closing the final 10 minutes of the half making 8-of-11 (72.7%) shots. They made five straight attempts, Brennen Fowler with the opening two, leading to LCU cutting the deficit to five points on two occasions. Murray connected on a pair of inside attempts in the final minute to give the Buffs a 40-31 halftime lead.
WTAMU had a 5-0 advantage in three-pointers in the opening half, and they were hit by four different individuals. They tossed up 17 attempts in the half. Gach Gach led the Buffs with 11 points in the half. Fowler had the game-high at the break with 13 off 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the line. The two squads combined for 30 free-throw attempts in the half.
LCU could not hold the offensive momentum to start the second half. Two minutes into the half, Murray drove in for a layup that sparked a 9-0 run for a 52-35 lead. Brandon Hall converted on a dunk with 7:40 to go to put WTAMU up 74-52. LCU responded with a 10-3 run, with Kentton Williams getting into the mix with one of two Chap three-pointers in the game, cutting the WTAMU lead to 77-62 (3:43 remained). The Chaps ended the game on a 5-1 run.
WTAMU, entering the game 26.0% from three-point range this season, connected for a 38.7% mark (12/31) Thursday. Six different Buffs converted from long range, led by Quaid, who was 4-of-8 (entered the game 2-of-13, 15% on the season). The Chaps, just 2-of-12 (16.7%) from three-point range, excelled inside by out-scoring WTAMU 48-22 in the paint. LCU was 49.1% (16/24) from the field, with a mark of 24-of-41 (73.8%) inside the arc.
Qua Grant (13) and Gach (11) joined Quaid and Murray in double figures for WTAMU. Fowler led LCU with 21 points. Isaac Asrat finished with 14 points for LCU, as he and Fowler (7-of-9) combined to go 12-of-17 (70.6%) from the field. LCU produced 15-4 scoring advantage in second chance scoring.
Turnovers plagued LCU, as they committed 20 and forced nine. WTAMU did not fully take advantage of the margin, out-scoring LCU 15-11 in points off turnovers. The Buffs improved to 5-1 on the season and the game was their home opener, extending the home win streak to 10 games carrying over from last season. The contest was LCU's second straight game against a nationally ranked squad and they now drop to 1-1 in contests against ranked foes.
LCU's slow start proved to be the difference. Exclude the opening 10 minutes of the game and LCU was 24-of-43 (55.8%) from the field and outscored WTAMU by two points.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
WTAMU produced more points from outside the arc (36), than inside the arc (30 points). The 12 three-pointers by the Buffs is the most allowed by LCU since Regis connected on 13 on Nov. 11, 2017.
LCU, now 2-1 on the season, heads home for Saturday's home opener at 2 p.m. inside Rip Griffin Center. They host Cameron to begin a two-game homestand.