MAGNOLIA, Ark. (SAU) - Southern Arkansas celebrated its home-opener with a 101-63 win over Central Baptist Thursday at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center.
Junior guard Darrin Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) had a game-high 22 points for the Muleriders (2-0) as they topped the century mark for the second time, following Tuesday's season-opening 100-66 win at Champion Baptist.
Senior guard Daviel Clements (Jesup, Ga.) scored 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench, and junior forward Nigel Jones (Wadley, Ala.) finished with 12 points.
The Mustangs (1-5) were led by Xavier Lindsey's 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Spencer Caraway had 15 points, and Jordan Chatters chipped in 13.
SAU rolled out to a 56-32 halftime lead on 57.5 percent shooting, canning 23 of 40 from the floor in the first stanza. They finished the game 37 of 75 for 49.3 percent, including 13 of 28 three-pointers for 46.4 percent. Johnson hit 7 of 8 from the field, 5 of 6 from downtown, and 3 of 4 free throws for his 22 points, getting 19 in the first half alone.
Southern Arkansas limited Central Baptist to 33.3 percent shooting on 21 of 63. They connected on just 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Mustangs were within 26-25 at the 8:28 mark in the first half, but the Muleriders outscored them 30-7 the remainder of the half.
SAU continued its run in the second frame, commanding the first 38-point margin of 96-58 with 2:19 left. Central Baptist was never closer than a 21-point game of 64-43 at 14:52.
Southern Arkansas held a 49-38 rebound advantage, outscoring the Mustangs 44-20 inside. Junior forwards Terrell Shears (Kansas City, Mo.) and Duke Reed (Houston, Texas), and junior guard Jamial Turner (Swainsboro, Ga.) each pulled down seven rebounds.
Senior guard Chris Davis (North Little Rock) dished out nine assists.
The Muleriders also got 47 points from their bench, led by Clements' 14.
SAU is off until Wednesday when they host Ecclesia College in a 6 p.m. tip-off.