The Paine College men's basketball team wouldn't mind waiting an extra day if all its victories came this easily.
After a day's delay because of the area's inclement weather, the Lions dismantled Miles, 90-70 on Sunday afternoon inside Carter Gymnasium.
The 20-point drubbing was the largest margin of victory this season for Paine (8-8, 6-6 SIAC).
The fact that it came on the heels of a last-second, one-point loss at Albany State provided an even more soothing feeling.
Paine lost three games in January on buzzer-beating shots.
"We've had some tough games lately," Lions coach Ronnie Spry said. "This was nice. We played well."
An unintentionally large starting lineup - with four players taller than 6-foot-6 - got Paine off to a 10-2 start from the tip.
Miles (9-8, 4-7) clawed back and hung around early because of the dominating post play of senior forward Joseph King.
The 6-foot-7 widebody was relentless around the glass, especially in the first half.
King scored 17 of his team's first 19 points. Alone, he trailed Paine 27-17 at the 9:25 mark of the first half.
Paine then began to slow King down by boxing out better and providing more double teams.
King finished the half with 23 points. He had 32 points and 10 rebounds in the game.
"He's a heck of a ballplayer, really their go-to guy," Spry said. "I knew we had to contain him, but he still ended up with 32 points and 10 rebounds. He's an all-conference player."
When King no longer held court, Paine took over.
The Lions opened up a 49-31 halftime lead by scoring nine points in the final 98 seconds.
Paine continued to sprint away in the second half, opening up a lead as large as 24 points.
The team shot 58 percent in the first half and 49 percent for the game.
Paine finished with a 23-to-10 assist-to-turnover ratio (it was 16-to-4 at halftime).
Chris Jackson had 17 points while Nate Lewis led the Lions with 18. The senior guard also had 10 assists, four steals and four rebounds.
"We passed the ball real well as a team," Lewis said. "That's the best I've seen us do in a long time."
The ice-induced layover slowed the Paine women, coach Selina Kohn said. The Lions saw a double-digit lead evaporate in the second half, but they were able to hold on to beat Miles, 77-73.
"I don't know what it was," Kohn said. "We're not very sharp after off days."
Kisha Lucette's 14 points led four Paine players in double figures. Melissa Andrews had 11. Kendra Williams and Velvet King, who was playing against her hometown school, had 10 each.
The Bears played much tougher than a 1-16 team (0-9 in conference), but Kohn said her team's post play and shot selection must improve.
And soon. The Lions (10-6, 10-1) play at Benedict on Tuesday. Benedict is also 10-1 in the conference, and the game could decide the top seed in the conference tournament.
"It's a very big game for us," Kohn said. "It'll help us to see where we are."
Reach Travis Haney at (706) 823-3304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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