WILBERFORCE — The Central State Marauders were unable to keep up with a fast-paced Malone offense as the Pioneers beat CSU, 97-82, on Wednesday night.
The Marauders briefly led in the early stages of the game before Malone shooters found their range in the Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium. The Pioneers mounted a 14-4 run to go up by 9 at the 14:02 mark of the first half. The Marauders fought back to cut the deficit to two, 20-18, after a Jeremy Brown fastbreak dunk with 11:02 on the clock. The Pioneers responded with a 17-1 run capped off by a Nate Sheppard three pointer to go up, 37-21, with 4:22 remaining before halftime. CSU’s Dwight Richard, Jr. scored the game’s next 9 points and the Marauders pulled back within five but the Pioneers used back-to-back baskets from Mitchell Spotleson to take a 44-34 lead at intermission.
The Pioneers continued to dictate the pace throughout the second half and built their lead up to 72-50 with an Evan Ben layup at the 10:29 mark. The Marauders never fully recovered as Malone began to run time off the clock and cruised to the 15-point victory.
The Pioneers had five players score in double-figures led by Christian Graves’s 26 points. Malone shot a blistering 56.7 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. The win bumped up the Pioneers’ record to 7-9 overall.
“Malone came in ready to play and made it really tough on us,” CSU coach Joseph Price said. “We have to do a better job of executing on defense and having a better overall effort against another good offensive team in Kentucky State this Saturday.”
Richard, Jr. led the Marauders with a game-high 28 points. Jeremy Brown filled the box score with 16 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and three assists. Thomas Farrior finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, but it was not enough as CSU fell to 6-12 on the season.
“We witnessed a great performance from Dwight while Jeremy and Thomas were solid contributors tonight, but we need a few more guys to step up,” Price said. “We are going to have to tighten up defensively heading into Saturday.”
The Marauders hope to rebound at this Saturday’s rivalry game against Kentucky State University. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. in Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium. The women’s basketball team will open the night with a 6 p.m. contest with KSU.