Albeit tongue in cheek, but John A. Logan head men's basketball coach said that the difference in Wednesday night's 94-80 win over Lewis & Clark stemmed from the fact that he told Murray State transfer and Hopkinsville, Ky., native Jalen Johnson to shoot the ball more.
What actually transpired was Lewis & Clark battling back from a 15-point first half deficit to take a 69-68 lead with 7:55 to play in the second half and from there, the Volunteers responded with 11 straight points from Johnson, including three 3-pointers in helping JALC get over .500.
With the win, John A. Logan is now 5-4 overall and Johnson finished the night going 7-for-11 from long range and led the all scorers with 27 points.
JALC jumped out to a 20-9 lead and took a 45-40 lead into the locker room. In the second half, there were two ties, but only once did the Trailblazers hold the lead.
Sydney Curry put Logan up 70-69 with a dunk on the baseline with 6:40 to play and Johnson followed with his 11 straight points to build a 81-70 lead with a little more than three minutes to play.
"(Our) team is extremely talented and does a lot of things a lot of teams can't do and we have to be able to take advantage of that and play with that amount of energy and that amount of tenacity for 40 minutes," Smithpeters said. "We have to learn to play the way we played the last six minutes and play that way for 40 minutes. We can't allow ourselves to have, what we call 'mental breaks' and not expect the other team to capitalize."
Logan was without the services of All-American Jay Scrubb, who has been suspended from the team for a violation of team rules. Smithpeters did not give a return date on when Scrubb would be reinstated.
Curry scored 17 points in the start for Logan and had a team-high 17 points, while Eric Boone notched a double-double, scoring 13 points and handing out 13 assists and Trace Young finished in double figures, tacking on 10 points.
Mark Lancaster and Marion native Justin Saddoris each added eight points for the Vols, while Jordan Cousin scored seven points. Zavier Ball and Jamarion Sharp each tossed in two points, while Sharp had five blocks.
Lewis & Clark (4-2) was held to 40 percent shooting on the night as JALC shot 52 percent.
Logan will go on the road Saturday to play at Lake Land. The Vols' game with Motlow State, originally scheduled for Monday, has now been moved to Tuesday.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.