By Corey Stolzenbach, McAlester News-Capital
Not much was stopping Elisha Hobbs in the first half Saturday.
Eastern Oklahoma State College welcomed Central Baptist College to the Dunlap Field House for its Homecoming game Saturday. Hobbs lit it up early as he scored the first seven points for the Mountaineers (4-0) on his way to 14 first-half points. He ended up with a team-high 19 points in the 115-81 victory and Eastern head coach Scott Edgar said Hobbs made an impact on the game.
"He's an attacking kind of player, he's an energetic kind of player," Edgar said. "...He gets the ball and he wants to put pressure on the defense, sometimes to a fault, but he's trying to put pressure on the defense."
The Mountaineers opened the game on a 9-0 run, following the women, who opened up their game on a 12-0 run. Eastern ran away early and took a 58-27 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
However, it was the second half that they really pulled away.
Eastern held a 69-41 lead with 16:01 left to play and a timeout on the floor when the Mountaineers then broke through for a 23-0 run. The run began on a 3-pointer by Jace Pratt, and was capped off on a G'Quavious Lennox alley-oop pass to Dante Adams to make it 92-41 before Central Baptist got another bucket with 11:05 left to play in the game.
Edgar said when a team has a big run, it is usually because of defense, though he also said hustling more and getting into the right place at the right time are contributing factors to such a run.
The 34-point win on Saturday differentiated from when Eastern emerged victorious in a 114-110 squeaker at home against Lang Prep Academy. The Mountaineers were down by 10 at one point in that game, but Edgar chalked up the comeback to a few things, such as Hobbs and Kariim Byrd, a Talihina grad, pulling down 10 rebounds, plus going 7-for-8 at the free throw line in the last two minutes.
Edgar credited Eastern for holding its poise against a team that had talent, and said despite the final score, the Mountaineers also had to work for the 120-90 win at Rhema Bible College Nov. 3. What he's trying to do is get the Mountaineers to play 40 minutes of basketball and not take plays off, though he said they did do that sometimes on Saturday. He knows the other team will have its runs, but in a game like Saturday's, he wants to know if Eastern will take its practices to the game and how much of those practices it will take to the game.
Eastern is scheduled to be back home on Tuesday, welcoming Rhema for the second meeting in 10 days between the two teams.