COLUMBUS, Ohio - Robert Caldwell lead the Cougars to a huge victory over the Lakeland Lakers on Wednesday night on the home court. The Columbus State men's basketball team is now 16-5 and 7-3 in OCCAC play. They are currently receiving votes in the NJCAA DII poll.
Caldwell achieved his first career double-double in a remarkable 17 points and 10 steals, along with five rebounds and three assists. He shot 5-of-13 as well as 5-of-5 from the line.
Caldwell played selflessly, focusing on limiting Lakeland's options. "I was focused on defense. I took advantage and attacked inside working my way outside, and let my teammates take care of the offense." Coach Ed Thompson added, "Caldwell was key tonight. He analyzed the game and knew exactly what to do."
Rodney Willis had his ninth straight game of double digit points with 16 along with six rebounds. Willis said he is proud of how his team played. "We were down 11 points at one point in the second half, but we fought hard." Willis also had four steals, one assist, and shot 5-of-11 from the field.
Also in double figures was Patrick Ngene-Igwe, who was really able to get inside, despite Lakeland's effort to stop him. He scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds as well as two blocks and one assist.
Donte Smith had a huge game, shooting 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Smith was easily able to setup his shots, having big minutes according to his coach. "Donte stepped up and did what he had to do", said Coach Thompson. Smith also had three assists and two steals.
Nic Williams contributed 13 points and six rebounds while Kenneth Moore nearly missed a double-double with 11 points and nine assists, but w had four steals and three rebounds overall. Other contributors include Chris Byrd with nine points and three rebounds and Lamarr Barnes with six points and three rebounds. Byrd also had three assists and one steal.
Next up for Columbus State are two road games against Hocking College on Sat, Feb. 6 @ 5:00PM and Lorain County Community College on Sun, Feb. 7 @ 3:00 p.m.