01/17/13 — Saints trip up Golden Falcons in ECC hoops

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Saints trip up Golden Falcons in ECC hoops

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 17, 2013 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Placing a value on each offensive possession in conference play can be nearly impossible.

Trying to win contests in league play while squandering valuable scoring opportunities can be just as difficult. Southern Wayne converted on key possessions in the fourth quarter and got critical defensive stops in a 66-55 win over Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference foe Charles B. Aycock on Wednesday night.

The Saints' Ronnell Outlaw led all scorers with 23 points and Tarvis Bradshaw added 18 points. Forward Jamiel Price contributed 10 points off the bench in his first significant minutes since Dec. 7. Price has been sidelined with an ankle injury.

Michael Williams finished with 21 points for the Golden Falcons.

Williams scored 11 points in the first half and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. Outlaw also found his shooting touch from beyond the arc and sank four 3-pointers during the opening half as Southern Wayne led 30-26 at the break.

"We tried to get Ronnell going early," Saints head coach Dwight Smith said. "Our kids did a good job of finding him and he's a good shooter and he knocked down some big shots for us."

The lead changed hands six times in the third quarter and Bradshaw buried a 3-pointer and added an offensive putback at the buzzer to give Southern Wayne a 46-44 advantage heading to the fourth quarter.

Bradshaw's 3-pointer and Price's layup extended the Saints' advantage to 55-47 midway through the fourth quarter.

"We told our guys at halftime that some shots were going to start falling," Smith said. "I thought we hit some big shots in the fourth quarter and our guys were more patient. They did a good job of attacking the rim and getting to the basket."

The Golden Falcons (6-9 overall, 1-3 ECC) struggled to make open shots at key times including multiple point-blank layups. Aycock was also haunted by five costly fourth-quarter turnovers.

"Give a lot of credit to Southern Wayne," Golden Falcons head coach Steve Moats said. "They executed and made shots when they needed to and we didn't."

Outlaw made eight of 10 free throws in the final 3 1/2 minutes to put the game away for Southern Wayne.

The Golden Falcons play host to defending ECC champion Triton on Friday night. The Saints (9-5, 3-2) visit Triton on Jan. 22.