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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Warriors give Homecoming crowd a win Wednesday over SIC
Rend Lake College's Dawson Verhines (Woodlawn) is fouled down the stretch of an 85-81 Homecoming win over Southeastern Illinois College. The Warriors hit key free throws late in the game to help secure the victory. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
INA, Ill. – Rend Lake College freshman point guard TeNale Roland’s 31 points fueled an 85-81 Homecoming win over Southeastern Illinois College Wednesday night at RLC.
“This win felt good tonight,” Roland (Louisville) said. “We came out and played defense. We had Kev [Fortney] back tonight, which was big for us on the defensive end, and Noel [Allen] stepped up big in the first half.”
Allen (Guttenburg, N.J.) finished with 20 points and Fortney (Mt. Vernon) had 16. Dawson Verhines (Woodlawn) pitched in nine with Dominique Bolden (Chicago) scoring eight and Ameer Weeks (Chicago) helping the cause with one point.
Warriors Head Coach Randy House said SIC didn’t shoot as well Wednesday night as they did in the Falcons’ 92-78 win over RLC on January 21. At Homecoming, the Warriors held Quintrel Morris to only six points in the second half after the shooting guard put up 10 in the first. Robert Calmese also scored 16 for the Falcons, while Taiquion Beckett had 14 and Dominique Hagans had 15 for SIC.
“We shot the ball pretty well,” House said of key free throws down the stretch Wednesday night. “We shot it a lot better in the second half from the line.”
Roland came out a little cold – 20 of his 31 came in the second half.
“He’s got to get loose and get in his groove,” House said. “He’s a winner and he plays hard. He is making better and better decisions with the ball. He is a fine kid and a fine player. We are fortunate to have him.
“It was a team effort,” House added. “We were tied at the half and we ended up winning by four. I told the guys if we could get it to eight we’d be alright. But we never quite got it where we needed it to put the pressure on them to have to shoot something just a little bit quicker than they were.”
With a three-point win over Lincoln Land College, Monday, in Springfield, House said the Warriors should be one of the top two teams in the region right now heading into the National Junior College Athletic Association DII Region XXIV Tournament in March. RLC, now 15-11 overall and 4-9 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference, has three games left on the 2011-12 regular season schedule – all against GRAC opponents.
“We aren’t going to win the conference, but we are working to get better each game,” House said.
“Things are coming together really good at the right time,” Roland added. “Our chemistry is getting better each game.”
Rend Lake will host John A. Logan College at 3 p.m. Saturday. For all things athletic at The Lake, visit RLC online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.