Jason Smith, who missed the first exhibition game of the season, may have been the big story coming into Friday night’s game, but center Stuart Creason overshadowed him.
On a night where the Rams welcomed Smith back to the lineup, his fellow 7-footer Creason led the Rams with 25 points and added ten rebounds as the Rams won 91-77 over Concordia-Montreal Stingers.
Smith showed off his skill, recording a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and junior college transfer Alton Robinson recorded the Rams third double-double of the night with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Creason, who struggled with a virus last week, felt ready for this game, as he made 12 of his 14 shots in the Rams last exhibition game.
“I felt recharged. I sat out practice for a week before last game, but today I was ready to go,” he said.
Coach Dale Layer also felt Creason was exceptional, along with Robinson.
“Stuart (Creason) was virtually unstoppable and Alton Robinson showed us the work ethic of the player we recruited and are expecting to help this team win,” Layer said.
Concordia-Montreal played well early, led by forward Dwayne Buckley, who scored 16 of his team’s 32 points at half, until Freddy and Alton Robinson (who are unrelated) teamed to slow him down to three points, all on free throws the rest of the game.
“We let Dwayne Buckley do whatever he wanted for the first 10-12 minutes” said Layer, “but when Freddy (Robinson) and Alton (Robinson) took over we held him in check.”
Alton Robinson was all over the court for the Rams, including a sequence in the second half where Robinson scored six straight points, skied to block a shot, and grabbed two offensive rebounds.
“That’s why they brought me here, to do a little of everything,” said Robinson, who for the last two seasons has played for Pearl River Community College in Mississippi.
Smith may have had more of an impact for the Rams had he not been in constant foul trouble, as Concordia-Montreal had no one over 6 feet 6 inches tall on their team, but he was in constant foul trouble.
“It was a struggle out there, but you have to fight through it and play hard. That’s all you can do,” said Smith, who fouled out with 4:50 left and only played 21 minutes.
The Rams never lead by less than 11 during the second half, and their largest lead was 21 points, before the Stingers pulled close after the Rams emptied their bench.
Men’s basketball beat writer Matt Pucak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.