Theo Holloway got contacts. Russhard Cruickshank continued his hot shooting. Jamir Thomas dominated inside. Elvis Harvey contributed all over the floor. And Pierre Johnson helmed an explosive Garden City Community College men’s basketball offense that rolled to a 94-75 win over visiting Allen County Tuesday night.
The Busters had four players in double digits, hit 55.2 percent of their shots and 45 percent of their three-pointers as they broke the short two-game skid and improved to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the KJCCC.
Through 30 minutes of the game at Conestoga Arena, the Busters were scoring 1.45 points per possession, which is an extraordinary number. For comparison, the Kansas Jayhawks scored 1.52 points per possession Tuesday night, and it was the best mark in the Bill Self era.
And it started with Thomas, who had a game-high 23 points inside, adding in 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season against the over-matched Red Devils (2-6, 0-4). Thomas, and fellow post-mate Jeff Otchere, towered over Allen County, and the two were on the floor when the Busters went on a 13-2 run midway through the first half to establish a double-digit lead.
“That’s the whole thing with basketball, go inside to outside,” GCCC head coach Brady Trenkle said. “I’m blessed this year to have this much size.”
The outside threats were Holloway, who started wearing contacts late last week, and Cruickshank. They each hit four three-pointers, with Holloway scoring 19 points on seven-of-13 shooting. Cruickshank was six of 11 for 16 points.
“If we get Kendale (Hampton), Russhard and Theo hitting shots at the same time, it’s going to be hard to beat us,” Trenkle said.
Hampton had his first single-digit scoring output of the conference season, but was coming off a 20-point outing at Cowley Saturday.
On Tuesday, the Busters didn’t need him.
They never trailed the Red Devils, and after Thomas scored five-consecutive points six minutes into the game to put the Busters up by 12, the Busters never let Allen County within nine for the rest of the game. The Busters’ largest lead was 28 late in the game, before the reserves entered to finish the cleanup of this one.
The rout was evident for the entire game, despite the Devils shooting 44.4 percent from the field and hitting eight three-pointers, led by Tevin Townsend’s three long balls and 20 points. Perry Carroll had 23 points on 10 of 18.
The win is the Busters’ fifth by at least 15 points, and it’s a sign of early season progress for the young squad.
“These guys are ready for different things,” Trenkle said. “(Allen) threw a 1-3-1 at us, and we didn’t handle it well in the first half, but then in the second half we blitzed it. They responded to what we told them at halftime, which is a good thing.”
The Busters will look to continue that progress on the road at 8 p.m. Saturday, when they travel to Independence for their next KJCCC action.