Williams, Pirates Run Past Mavericks, 90-85
LAKELAND, Fla. - Senior guard Keyshore Williams' career-high 23 points led all five Armstrong Atlantic State University men's basketball starters in double figures as the Pirates picked up a 90-85 victory over Minnesota State Mankato on Friday evening in the Terrace Hotel/Ledger Media Group Classic, hosted by Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla.
The Pirates (3-0) advance to face Florida Southern - 87-76 winners over Limestone - on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Jenkins Fieldhouse. Minnesota State falls to 1-2 after the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Last-minute layups at the end of the first half by Chris Vanlandingham and Williams gave Armstrong a 37-34 lead at intermission. Armstrong hit 40 percent of its shots from the floor (14-of-35), including 5-of-14 three-pointers, while Minnesota State hit just 28.6 percent from the floor (10-of-35) but hit 4-of-11 three-pointers for 36.4 percent.
Armstrong opened the second half on an 11-3 run to extend its lead to 11, 48-37, with 16:45 remaining. Minnesota State Mankato cut the lead to five, 51-46, on a layup by Miles Chamberlain, but a 7-0 run by Armstrong pushed the lead back out to double digits.
The Mavericks would close to within five points on their last possession on DJ Hoskins' banked-in three-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Williams finished the night with his first career double-double, hitting 8-of-10 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 three-pointers, to go with 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots. Vanlandingham finished with 18 points and six assists, while Aric Miller chipped in 14 points, Mychal Horn added 13 and DeVon Jones notched 10.
"We challenged them at the half," Armstrong head coach Jeremy Luther said. "The thing we've been talking about the last week and a half is to make the next play.
"We are best in our offense when we make the next play. We got some easy transition buckets and we did our speciality, getting to the foul line, early in the second half. When we make that next play, that next pass offensively, we are that much more potent."
Minnesota State was led by Hoskins' 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-8 three-pointers, while Stephen Kirschbaum added 15 points and Connor O'Brien collected a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Armstrong finished the game hitting 31-of-65 shots from the floor (47.7 percent) while connecting on 9-of-22 three-pointers (40.9 percent) and hitting 19-of-30 free throws (63.3 percent). The Mavericks hit 25-of-68 shots from the floor (36.8 percent) while knocking down 10-of-24 three-pointers (41.7 percent) and 25-of-32 free throws (78.1 percent).