CHICAGO – Darreus Brown knocked down three consecutive 3-point shots to begin the game, and the Mineral Area men’s basketball team never cooled off Wednesday night.
The Cardinals finished a sizzling 62 percent from the field, including 14-of-29 from beyond the arc, and equaled their highest scoring output of the season.
Brown drained six threes on eight attempts, and totaled 24 points along with six assists. Six MAC players achieved double digits for the second straight contest in a 116-80 win over Daley College.
With a rapid offensive tempo established from the outset, the host Bulldogs were simply worn down by the much deeper roster of Mineral Area (10-2).
The Cardinals produced 63 second-half points, including 21 from reserve center Gabe O’Neal, who threw down a couple of dunks and recorded his first 3-pointer of the season.
Onteral Woodson, Jr. compiled 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals in his home city, and scored on four separate possession during a 17-3 run that created a 53-30 halftime margin.
Steve Wooten was a driving force in the first half, and provided 14 points plus 14 rebounds while David Kachelries finished with 12 points and eight assists in the win.
Clavone Hillard powered his way to a game-high 30 points – 19 in the second half – and corralled nine rebounds from the post while playing all 40 minutes for Daley (4-8).
The seven-hour bus ride to Chicago had no adverse effects on Mineral Area. Wooten muscled in two baskets amid congestion, and Brown finished a transition layup to cap an 11-0 run at 36-18.
Hillard answered with a conventional 3-point play, and Everette Patton beat the Cardinals to the rim, but a solid 9-0 spurt proved to be the last formidable challenge offered by the Bulldogs.
Woodson slashed through the lane for consecutive baskets, and Brown delivered his five 3-pointer in the final minute before intermission.
Yahuza Rasas opened the second half with a spinning baskets from the low block, and Kacheries joined the perimeter party with his first 3-pointer a couple minutes later.
O’Neal was the target of repeated entry passes, and also drove the baseline for a thunderous slam and 94-60 lead. The Cardinals surpassed 90 points with more than 10 minutes remaining.
Rasas ended with 11 points and nine rebounds while Patrick Strzala dished out five assists in the victory. The Cardinals will host John Wood at the Rotary Shootout on Saturday.
Jalen Frizell scored 17 points while also staying on the court wire to wire in defeat. The Bulldogs got 13 points from Shamond Garrett and 11 more from Patton.
Daley committed five fewer turnovers, and converted 16-of-20 free throws.