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SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomore Robert Smith/Hampton scored a career-high 31 points to lead NJCAA Division II preseason No. 2 Richard Bland College to an 86-72 non-region men's basketball victory past NJCAA Division I Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College on Wednesday night in Statesman Hall. Classmate Tim Bing Jr./Suitland, Maryland added 17 points for the nationally-ranked Statesmen (5-0), while freshman Kenny Southerland/Richmond had a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the hosts. Dante Tatum scored 17 points for the visiting Sea Devils (2-2).
Richard Bland will travel to Baltimore, Maryland this weekend to play two more non-region games during the Legends Classic hosted by Baltimore City Community College. The Statesmen will play NJCAA Division II Monroe (N.Y.) Community College on Friday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m., followed by a game against NJCAA Division I Monroe (N.Y.) College on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.
Richard Bland took an early 7-2 lead at 17:36 with baskets from Smith and Bing, along with a three-point field goal by sophomore Tre' Patterson/Richmond. Cape Fear answered with 11-straight points to go ahead 13-7 at 14:51, and the Sea Devils led 17-11 at 13:32. The Statesmen responded with a 10-0 run to lead 21-17 at 11:02, getting eight quick points from Smith, including two three-pointers, and the hosts still led 27-26 at 9:09 after two free throws by sophomore Stanley Taylor/Petersburg. Cape Fear went back in front at 32-27 with 7:25 left in the first half, but Richard Bland closed the period with a 22-3 outburst to lead 49-35 at halftime. Southerland scored eight of the points inside on layups, while Smith added seven points, including a monstrous fast-break slam dunk off an assist from Bing to finish with 20 first-half points.
Richard Bland extended the advantage to start the second half, taking its largest lead at 54-35 with 17:07 remaining, as Bing scored five quick points. The lead was 56-37 at 15:51 after a steal and layup by Patterson, but Cape Fear rallied with an 11-0 run to close to within 56-48 at 12:55. Another Patterson layup made it 60-50 at 10:45, and the Statesmen extended the margin once-again to lead 70-54 at 8:39 following a layup by Bing. The Sea Devils managed to close the deficit to 70-66 at 4:01, but Richard Bland closed the door with a 16-6 game-ending run for the final 14-point margin of victory.
Smith led Richard Bland with his career-high 31 points, including 11-19 field goals (3-7 3FGs) and 6-8 free throws. Bing added 17 points, six assists and a game-high five steals, while Southerland finished with his second collegiate double-double of 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Ricky Hicks/Bronx, New York scored eight points, adding six assists and three steals, while Patterson contributed seven points, two steals and two blocks. Richard Bland shot 50% (32-64) from the field, including 35% (6-17) on three-pointers, and 80% (16-20) at the free throw line.
Tatum led Cape Fear with his 17 points, while Shaft Parker added 15 points and Alston Davis had 12 points. The Sea Devils shot 37% (21-57) from the field, including 28% (7-25) on three-pointers, and 70% (23-33) at the line.
Richard Bland and Cape Fear were playing for the fifth time in the sport of men's basketball, and the Statesmen lead the series 4-1.
Following this weekend's action in Baltimore, Richard Bland remains away from home to play its first Region 10 contest this season at Vance-Granville (N.C.) Community College on Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in Henderson, North Carolina.