Cougars open conference play with 106-79 victory over #17 Cincinnati State

Cougars open conference play with 106-79 victory over #17 Cincinnati State

COLUMBUS, Ohio- Freshman Rodney Willis went into conference play with a force, scoring 28 points in 28 minutes to lead the Cougars to a 106-79 upset over rival and nationally ranked Cincinnati State on Saturday.

Willis sunk in four three's and shot 11-of-18 along with having five rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal.

The Cougars, now 9-2 overall and 1-0 OCCAC, had five players in double figures as well as saw each player come off the bench.

"We worked on defense all week," Head Coach Ed Thompson said. "Today we were able to get out to a good lead and get everybody playing time. I was happy with our effort, and the players were really supportive of each other."

The Cougars led at the half, 54-40, and managed to extend the lead to as many as 31 (98-67) in the second half. 

Sophomore Robert Caldwell tallied 14 points, including three baskets from behind the arc along with a season-high and game-high four steals. 

Sophomore Nic Williams and freshman Chris Byrd contributed 13 points and a trio of rebounds apiece. Freshman John Montgomery came off the bench to score nine points in 4 1/2 minutes, including a duo of dunks that got the crowd riled.

Columbus State out-rebounded the Surge, 39-26, led by Patrick Ngene-Igwe's 13 rebounds. Ngene-Igwe achieved his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points in the effort.

The Cougars had a 54.3% shooting percentage while registering 19 assists and nine steals.

Columbus State hosts another OCCAC battle against #7 Sinclair Community College on Tue, Dec. 15 at the Delaware Hall Athletic Center at 5:30 p.m.