BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman took care of business by thumping Division II opponent Florida Christian College 102-51 at Moore Gymnasium on Monday.
The Kissimmee-based school made the Division II Elite Eight last season but was no match for the Wildcats.
B-CU (5-8) scored 100 points for the first time this season. It was the first time the team scored 100 points since the 2003 MEAC Tournament against Morgan State (100 points) and the first time in the regular season since a game against Norfolk State (111 points) in 2002.
“We were just trying to get back on track and get back consistent as a team on defense,” said B-CU Coach Gravelle Craig.
Adrien Coleman (23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) and Alex Smith (10 points, 14 rebounds) led the Wildcats attack.
“It started on the defensive end. Defensively, we played with energy and was very active,” Coleman remarked.
A three pointer by Kevin Dukes put B-CU up 17-3 early in the first half.
The Wildcats (5-8) never looked back and led by as many as 54 points in the game.
“We came out and played with a lot of energy and did the little things well,” stated Craig.
Florida Christian (9-5) did put together a mini 7-2 run in the first half. Alex Sanchez also made a good highlight reel with a three-point play after throwing down an alley hoop for FCC.
Kenny Blanc led the Suns with 16 points and nine boards. Smith added 10 points and Montique Lynch had eight points for the Suns.
Sophomore guard Brandon Stewart played in his first home game as a Wildcat. He tallied 14 points with five rebounds. It was his second game of the season.
“It felt great to play at home. During my first game in Pittsburgh, I was nervous but tonight I was calm,” responded Stewart.
Added Craig, “Brandon will help us, especially come conference time. He can defend and he can shoot and drive to the basket.’’
Dukes also had 14 points, Paul Scotland contributed 14 points, Marc Mack had eight points with nine boards, Ricky Johnson had eight points with five rebounds, and Javoris Bryant added eight points with four blocks for B-CU.
Pummeled by Pitt
The Wildcats also lost to national powerhouse Pittsburgh 89-40 on Dec. 15. The Panthers used a 20-4 run in the first half to break open a 23-21 game.
Scotland led B-CU with seven points in that game. Coleman, Smith and Bryant each scored six points for the ‘Cats.
The Panthers out rebounded the Wildcats 40-11 and held the rebounding advantage 60-14.
“We didn’t play well, especially with our defensive effort. We didn’t play them with the energy level that we needed,” commented Cra
The Wildcats will host Youngstown State (6-4) on Dec. at Moore Gymnasium.
Women’s hoops update
The B-CU women’s basketball team played in the Hatter Classic at the Edmunds Center on the campus of Stetson University in DeLand on Dec. 18-19, after the Daytona Times’ deadline.
The Lady Wildcats (3-5) squared off with Georgia Southern and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
B-CU did pick up an 88-46 win over fellow in-state HBCU Edward Waters College on Dec. 11.
In that game, Chastity Taylor led B-CU with 18 points while Amanda Hairston added 10 points with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Jasmine Evans also had 12 points and Terrenisha Hollis 10 points with 11 boards for the Wildcats.
B-CU won’t play again until Dec. 30 when the team hosts Holy Cross.
Bowling: B-CU still ranked
Bethune-Cookman is ranked in the latest national women’s bowling polls.
The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 19 in the latest National Tin Pen Coaches Association poll released Dec. 15.
“It says a lot about what our peers think of us by having us ranked, but on the other hand we have to bowl better if we want to rise in the polls and compete for a national title,” said B-CU’s bowling coach Tony O’Neal.
B-CU (22-19) dropped two spots from its ranking in the previous poll.
The team will return to action Jan. 25-27 in the Kutztown University Invitational in Ready, Penn. Kutztown (34-12) is currently ranked 10th in the poll.
Football: Former Wildcat inks deal
Former Wildcat All-American center Nattiel Curry signed a contract to play professional ball with the New Orleans Voodoo of the Arena Football League on Dec. 13.