Albany State’s Darshtyn Baker (21) goes up for a basket as Florida National’s Robert Snyder (35) defends Saturday at HPER Gym. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
ALBANY — Larry Bullock somehow broke free from a defender, hauled in a pass and launched a 3-point basket from the right wing nearly a foot beyond the three-point arc.
The ball swished through the net and Albany State reached the century-mark in scoring Saturday afternoon against Florida National at the HPER Gymnasium.
About the only drama of the afternoon was seeing if the Rams could reach 100 points in their 102-68 rout.
“It felt good,” Bullock said of his 3-pointer. “I wanted to make the score look good for Albany State.”
After Tuesday’s overtime loss to Valdosta State, the Rams needed this one, not only to improve their record but to feel good about themselves. In front of a handful of hands, the Rams (2-3) began running early, built a big lead and led by as many as 36 points.
Florida National never posed much of a challenge. Every player on Albany State’s team got into the game and all but two scored.
The Rams were led by former Worth County standout Jamorris Gaines, who finished with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds. Bullock added 15 points, while Joe Williams finished with 14 to help the Rams shoot a sizzling 48 percent (35-of-73) from the floor.
Albany State coach Chris Cameron was pleased with the Rams’ performance.
“We wanted to come out and play our style of basketball,” he said. “We wanted to be more up tempo and get the job done on the defensive end.”
ASU held Florida National to just 28 percent shooting (8-of-29) from the floor in the first half and built a 56-22 advantage at halftime. Gaines helped pad the Rams’ lead when his 3-point attempt from halfcourt at the buzzer stripped the net, sending ASU into the locker rooms with all the momentum it needed.
The closest Florida National got in the second half was 26 points when Tyquavion Dix sank back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 83-57 with 3:51 left. But ASU’s Douglas Storey drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to key a 7-0 run, which culminated with a perfectly executed alley-oop dunk from Antwan McFarland to Eric Martin.
Williams said the Rams were excited about topping the 100-point plateau.
“But our main focus was to get better,” he said. “We needed this one. A 2-3 record sounds better than being 1-4.”
Williams added the halftime goal was to keep Florida National under 50 points. Even though they failed to accomplish that goal, it was still a “feel-good” victory for the Rams.
“We’ve played all of our games tough, and we could have easily been 3-1 coming into this one,” Cameron said. “But we needed to get a win like this where everybody got a chance to play and feel good about themselves. That is what we needed right now.”