A 17-6 second half run by the Fighting Saints was not enough to propel CSJ to victory on Wednesday night, as they fell to Johnson State 63-79. The Badgers improve to 1-0 with the win, and CSJ falls to 0-2. Chris Conway led the Saints with 10 rebounds and seven points. Trent Torain had eight rebounds and seven points and Charles Isaac contributed seven rebounds and seven points.
Back-and-forth baskets from each squad was the story of the first five minutes of play. Kadeem Riddick placed CSJ on the scoreboard first with a breakaway layup, but JSC's Shakeel Irvin was quick to respond with a layup of his own. Jeyquan Johnson made a three-pointer 30 seconds later to put the Badgers ahead 5-2. Jared Brown registered a jumper to bring the Saints within one point of JSC, 5-4, about a minute later. A Quadarius Spence three-pointer three minutes into the game gave the Saints a 7-5 lead. This would prove to be their last lead of the night as the Badgers converted on five more three-pointers, shooting 54.5% beyond the arc, to aid in a 33-21 JSC run. The Badgers had a 40-26 lead at halftime.
Johnson was responsible for three of the Badgers' six first half three-pointers. Irvin provided 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Marqwon Wynn scored 8 points and dished off four assists. Demetrius Slade contributed six points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Fighting Saints' shot 2-for-9 from three-point range in the first half. Spence recorded five points, Riddick four, and Conway had three points and four rebounds. Off the bench, John Ryals III had fours points and two rebounds, and Trent Torrain had four rebounds and two points.
The Fighting Saints' had difficulty getting baskets to fall for them throughout the game. In the second half they were 0-7 from three-point range, 5-14 from the foul line and shot 37% from the field. Despite the shooting adversity, they fought to bring the game within 11 points in the second half of play.
JSC managed a quick 7-0 run to start the second half. Riddick and Conway scored to cut the Saints' deficit by four, making the game 47-30. With about 10 minutes to go in the game, a Torain layup sparked a string of CSJ scoring. Brown made a layup shortly after, and Woodard followed suit. Torain then made one of two from the foul line to make the game 50-62. Amari Moulton then went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe for a 63-50 JSC lead. Ten seconds later Mickalous Snowden converted an offensive rebound to a score and brought the game within 11 points, but that would be the closest CSJ would get to making a comeback.
Isaac scored all of his points after halftime. Tyreke Woodard , Brown, and Spence also had sevent points. Four of JSC's starters scored 10 points or higher, whereas not one Fighting Saint registered in double-digit points.
The Fighting Saints will look to pick up their first win of the season on Monday, Nov. 20 when they face nearby Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. at 7:00 p.m.