Patel and Lewis Score Career Highs as VMI defeats North Alabama 89-68
LEXINGTON, Va. – Sophomores Sarju Patel and Myles Lewis each posted career-high point totals Friday evening as the VMI men’s basketball team defeated the University of North Alabama 89-68 in non-conference play.
Patel netted 19 points, hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe to go with six rebounds. Lewis poured in 18 points, sinking nine of his 14 field-goal attempts with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Lewis’ previous high mark was 15 earlier this season at Stetson, while Patel had 13 in early December this year at Virginia Tech.
Fellow sophomore Bubba Parham set the tone early with 23 points in the first half to push the Keydets to a 52-25 lead at intermission. The Lions chipped away at the advantage to trail by just 12 (69-57) with 6:50 remaining. VMI used a 13-4 run to put the game out of reach.
Parham concluded the evening with a game-high 29 points, nailing six three-pointers. Tyler Creammer finished just shy of a double-double, with nine points and nine rebounds. Jake Stephens had eight points and six boards and Greg Parham snared seven rebounds and handed out five assists with two steals.
Kendall Stafford led North Alabama (3-10) with 16 points and six rebounds. Jamari Blackmon posted 15 points and Christian Agnew netted 13 with five boards. Kendarius Smith added 10 points and five rebounds.
VMI is back in action on Saturday, December 29, traveling to Samford University for a Southern Conference game.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH DAN EARL:
"It's good to get on the right side of things after a long road stretch. I thought the first half was one of our best halves of the year. We moved the ball and made some shots. And I thought we were really intense on defense in the first half."
"The second half, they came back and were driving the ball. We got spread out a little bit too much, so we'll learn from that in trying to keep a lead, but it's nice to get on the right side of things and I'm proud of the guys. It was a total team effort and a lot of people affected the game."