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It's the Pitts- King Routs Rams in Exhibition

There was some good news for Bluefield College after the Rams were hammered by King College on Tuesday night at The Dome Gymnasium.

November 10, 2010

The Rams are 1-1 on the season, losing to King during an exhibition matchup.

BLUEFIELD, Va. — There was some good news for Bluefield College after the Rams were hammered by King College on Tuesday night at The Dome Gymnasium.

 

The game didn't count.

 

Brian Hewitt led four King double-figure scorers with 22 points and the Tornado played George Pitts-style basketball, defeating the Ramblin' Rams, 97-56, in what was an exhibition game for both teams.

 

That didn't matter to Bluefield second-year head coach Richard Morgan, whose Rams fell behind 51-28 at the break, turning the ball over 13 times in the opening half and 23 times for the game.

 

"I know it is early and this is an exhibition game, but I would still like to put on a little bit better performance rather than just let them have it and do what they did," Morgan said. "A tough night for the Rams."

 

Pitts, who is in his fifth season at King, is a high school basketball legend in Tennessee, winning three state titles at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., and another four at Brentwood Academy in the Volunteer State.

 

His teams at the prep level played much like the Tornado did against the Rams.

 

"I like pressing and running, that is the way we like to play," said Pitts, who has posted a 97-33 record in four seasons at King. "Some nights we're good and other nights we're bad, tonight I thought we played pretty well.

 

"I was a little disappointed in our turnovers, I don't know how many we had, but that is the way we like to play."

 

Rob Wright led Bluefield with 22 points, including 12 in the opening half, while George Carpenter added 14, along with 11 rebounds.

 

However, the Rams connected on just 29.7 percent (19-64) on the night, while the Tornado scorched the nets at a 60.4 percent clip (32-53), including 13-of-19 from 3-point range.

 

Bluefield won its opener last Thursday against Barber Scotia, but dropped a 22-point decision over the weekend, with Lee University scoring 93 points. King passed that, and nearly reached the century mark against the Rams.

 

"We are not very good right now, we stink on defense, we are not very good right now," Morgan said. "We are far from Bluefield basketball right now, it is embarrassing, it is depressing, we have just got a lot of things going on right now."

 

King, which received 18 points and 11 boards from Clarence Smith, 17 points by Mark Dockery and 10 from Michael Fortune, fell behind 8-5, but went on an 22-3 run to build a 16-point advantage, and the lead continued to grow behind deadeye shooting and Bluefield's continued problems to solve the Tornado pressure.

 

Pitts also likes a team that moves the ball around and the Tornado did that, finishing with 25 assists, led by Eddie Piccinini with eight and seven from Cordarrel Eldridge. Dockery added eight rebounds. Hewitt was 5-of-6 from 3-point range, while Smith was 8-8 at the charity stripe.

 

"Bluefield has some guys that can shoot and we had a hard time matching up with them," said Pitts, whose Tornado have moved to Division II, and are now playing in Conference Carolinas. "Thirty-one (Borgia M'bala) and 32 (Jewaun Wynn) can really shoot the ball and 23 (Carlton Shumake) is a good penetrator, but I thought we came out and played really well and did a good job with our pressure."

 

Shumake was the only other Bluefield player with more than five points. The point guard finished with seven and three assists.

 

"Right now we don't have a shooter, Bo (M'bala) was non-existent tonight," Morgan said. "It is just tough when a couple of guys don't do their job and you work all week and you tell them exactly what to do and they go out there and do exactly the opposite."

 

It didn't get any easier after the break, although King had 13 second half turnovers after having just six in the opening 20 minutes. Pitts wasn't pleased, calling several timeouts despite building a lead that grew to as much as 45 in the final seconds.

 

King opens its season on Friday at Kentucky Wesleyan.

 

"I never even look at the score, I just worry about us," said Pitts, whose Tornado starts the season with eight road games, including a tournament next week in Alaska, "but when you get a big lead the guys do tend to let up a little, but we played hard for the most part.

 

"At the beginning we had a hard time matching up, but I thought we played pretty well, and we do play hard, we play really hard."

 

Bluefield returns to the court on Friday in Ohio in a tournament at Rio Grande College against Cedarville, which is only one of the top-ranked NAIA Division II teams in America.

 

"We have some problems right now, we have got to solve them, and we have to grow up fast," Morgan said. "We have to go on the road this weekend for a tournament and we have to see what happens.

 

"We have to play Cedarville and they are ranked No. 14 in the country so we just have to prepare ourselves and go out and play hard."

 

Morgan scheduled tough this season, hoping that by the time the AAC season rolls around in January, his team will be prepared for the rigors of conference play. The Rams have won the last two AAC regular season crowns.

 

"That is my gut is that by playing all these tough people it will get us right for the league," Morgan said, "and right now just to weather the storm until we can get right."

 

at The Dome Gymnasium

 

KING (0-0)

 

Seymore 2-4 0-0 4, Piccinini 2-3 1-2 6, Brian Hewitt 7-12 3-4 22, Mark Dockery 6-9 2-2 17, Clarence Smith 5-6 8-8 18, Michael Fortune 4-8 0-0 10, David Johnson 1-1 0-0 3, Tyler Crowder 0-1 0-0 0, Cordarrel Eldridge 3-3 1-2 8, Brandon Goss 1-5 5-6 7, Brent Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, DeShaun Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Cleland 1-1 0-0 2, Donatas Zuzevicius 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-53 20-26 97.

 

BLUEFIELD (1-1)

 

Rob Wright 8-15 2-2 22, M'bala 1-6 0-0 3, Jackson 0-6 0-0 0, Byron Carpenter 5-11 4-5 14, Wynn 1-7 2-2 4, Zimin 0-4 0-0 0, Henderson 0-2 0-0 0, Board 0-1 0-0 0, O'boute 1-1 0-0 3, Dula 0-1 0-0 0, Shumake 2-8 3-4 7, Shakhmetov 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 19-64 12-15 56.

 

Halftime: KC 51-28. 3-point goals: KC 13-19 (Hewitt 5-6, Dockery 3-4, Fortune 2-4, Piccinini 1-2, Johnson 1-1, Eldridge 1-1, Seymore 0-1); BC 6-21 Wright 4-8, M'Bala 1-4, O'boute 1-1, Jackson 0-3, Wynn 0-2, Zimin 0-1, Henderson 0-1, Board 0-1). Reb: KC 34 (Smith 11); BC 25 (Carpenter 11). Ast: KC 25 (Piccinini 8); BC 10 (Shumake 3). Total fouls: KC 16; BC 19. Technicals: none.

Courtesy of Brian Woodson/ Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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