West Lafayette may struggle with free throws, but the Red Devils did not have any problems hitting the 3-pointer.
The Red Devils hit eight 3-point goals to beat Benton Central 55-31 at Arena Gymnasium on Friday night in a Hoosier Conference game.
West Lafayette came into the game shooting just 59 percent from the foul line. The Red Devils hit just 50 percent against the Bison, but that didn’t matter because they were deadly from 3-point range, hitting 8 of 15.
“Nobody shoots that well,” West Lafayette coach David Wood said. “But we shared the ball and we have good shooters. They got some good looks. We were more patient against their zone.”
Both teams came into the game struggling offensively, and it showed in the first half. The Red Devils led 18-13 at halftime behind the 3-point shooting of Jared Snoble.
West Lafayette stretched its lead to 23-15 with six minutes left in the third quarter, but Benton Central wasn’t done. The Bison, who shot only 25 percent from the field in the first half, began to warm up. Austin Dixson canned a rare 3-pointer for Benton Central to pull the Bison within one, 28-27, with 1:10 left in the quarter.
It was a close as the Bison would get. Nai Carlisle got a basket for West Lafayette to give the Red Devils a 30-27 lead going into the final period. It was all West Lafayette the last eight minutes, as the Red Devils outscored Benton Central 25-4. The Bison got only one field goal in the fourth quarter, and it came with 1:40 left in the game.
“We got outrebounded,” Benton Central coach Kyle Marlatt said. “We couldn’t click offensively. We don’t go inside and we need to. We are shooting just 17 of 100 from the 3-point line. We have to go inside.”
Wood attributed the big fourth quarter to good defense and rebounding.
“First of all, we made some shots, but defensively, I thought we were outstanding,” he said. “The other thing that happened was William Mbongo got every rebound. He can dominate a game without ever scoring a point. When he figures that out, he will be very good.”
Trev Parker led the Red Devils with 16 points, followed by Carlisle with 14 and Snoble with 10. Carlisle also had six assists. Mbongo pulled down 16 rebounds. West Lafayette outrebounded Benton Central, 41-26.
Jack Marquie was the only Benton Central player in double figures with 13. The Bison shot just 26 percent from the field for the game.
Both teams play Saturday night with Benton Central, now 3-4, going to Harrison and West Lafayette, 4-2, traveling to Attica.