Larry Austin shines in men's basketball blowout win over Concordia
Larry Austin Jr. sat out of an exhibition game against Davenport last week with an injury to avoid being a defensive liability.
He made his return in style.
In the season opener, Austin started the game with a steal and slam dunk giving his team a lead they’d never look back on.
Austin’s early game heroics jump started the Chippewas (1-0) to a 98-67 victory over Concordia (1-3) on Nov. 6 in McGuirk Arena.
"Getting that breakaway and seeing the ball go through the rim all the jitters go away," Austin said. "Defense gets me started and we won the first four minute war."
Head coach Keno Davis said this is just the beginning of Austin's talents.
"There's not a ceiling of how good he can be," Davis said. "He's a kid who hasn't had a chance to play. Now he's getting a chance to not just play with our team but be a leader for us."
CMU started the game on a 6-0 run forcing a Cardinal timeout. The Chippewas would extend the run to 14-0 before Concordia found its first bucket.
Concordia would slow the game down, trimming the Chippewas lead to 24-14 with 7:48 left in the first half. CMU didn’t let that last long.
Senior guard Shawn Roundtree hit a fast break layup followed by a 3-pointer off a Cardinal turnover from junior forward David DiLeo to cap off a 14-4 run. CMU lead 38-19 with 4:12 left in the half.
Following a 41-25 lead at halftime, the Chippewas continued to show full court pressure creating more turnovers leading to points. CMU led 53-29 at the 15:57 mark and were on cruise control until the final horn.
“I think you can expect to see more (full court pressure) as the season goes along it just depends on the matchup," Davis said. "The more our 6-11 players continue to develop the more you will see that pressure."
The Chippewas held Concordia to 43.8 percent shooting from the floor and 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from 3-point distance. They also forced 20 turnovers on the Cardinals.
While Austin’s eight points in the first five minutes were essential, junior guard Kevin McKay led the Chippewas with a game-high 23 points and three steals. Austin finished with 17 points and Roundtree added 18 of his own.
"I like to think I'm an energy guy that feeds off of defense," McKay said. "I attacked the basket and I just try to score whatever way I can score be it steals, rebounds or any other way."
Overall, CMU finished 54.7 percent from the field and 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from deep. The Chippewas added 23 bench points led by transfer guard Dallas Morgan who had six points in 19 minutes.
The Chippewas will continue the Junkanoo Jam against Chicago State at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in McGuirk Arena.
- Kevin Hamlet, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Mineral Area College, was not dressed and did not play. Davis said he rolled his ankle at practice and will get an updated report later this week.
- CMU had four goal-tending calls.
- Transfer guard Rob Montgomery started and played 27 minutes to lead the Chippewas inside game. Fellow transfer guard Romelo Burell totaled 16 minutes and redshirt sophomore Innocent Nwoko tallied 10 minutes.
- Morgan dominated the backup guard minutes with 19 and junior guard Matty Smith added five minutes.