Kedric Taylor and his Paine teammates didn’t have to worry about any last-second heroics this time.
Two days after swishing a late free throw to defeat LeMoyne-Owen, Taylor sat back and let Sean Morgan take over.
Morgan scored a career-high 31 points as Paine rolled to an 89-69 win over Lane on Saturday at the HEAL Complex.
A 6-foot-6, 250-pound forward/center, Morgan dominated inside the paint, connecting on 11 of 17 attempts, along with a 9 for 10 effort from the foul line. He also added 11 rebounds and a block.
“Coach (Jimmy Link) said before the game we’re probably going to have a mismatch inside,” said Morgan, who scored 16 points Thursday night. “So they just kept feeding me the whole game.”
Taylor added: “He was unstoppable. If he’s hungry and he’s hitting, keep feeding him.”
Taylor chipped in with 10 points and 10 assists, while Jordan Warner added seven points and 13 boards for Paine. The Lions have won three in a row to improve to 7-6 overall (3-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
Against Lane, Paine jumped out to a 21-6 advantage and led by double digits the rest of the way. The Dragons (2-6, 1-4), led by Sha’mar Nolen’s 20 points, shot 50 percent from the field in the second half to keep the game from becoming a total blowout.
“We jumped out on them, were playing well and got complacent,” Link said. “We’re good enough to do that, but I don’t want to. I want us to learn to step on their throats and keep pushing through.”
The hot news coming out of Paine is the impending arrival of 6-foot-7, 245-pound senior center Toby Veal, who is primed to see his first game action since playing in the Final Four with Virginia Commonwealth in April 2011. Veal arrived at Paine in January 2012, but he was expelled on a gun charge eight months later. The school reinstated him in 2013, and he’ll be ready to go when the Lions play host to Kentucky State at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Link said.
“He could be the best big man in the country – there’s a chance,” Link said.