SHERIDAN — The Sheridan College men’s basketball coaches made some adjustments to the starting lineup last night, and it helped the Generals roll to a lopsided 110-68 victory over Dakota College.
Matt Hammer and his staff went with Terrell Butler, Jevon Griffin, Tre McCallum, Pablo Rivas and Rudy Joly in an attempt to set the tone early.
The energy was there from the start, and the Generals played their best game of the season in front of their home crowd.
“We kept talking about the importance of a great start,” assistant coach Tom Parks said of the starting lineup change. “We haven’t had one yet this year, so for them to come out and play hard and be ready to defend and run right away, that was really good to see.”
The Generals just outworked the Lumberjacks from the opening tip.
Of Sheridan’s 15 first-half rebounds, 11 came on the offensive end, leading to easy buckets and a 53-percent-shooting half. Bennie Lufile came off the bench for Sheridan to bring down eight first-half rebounds in just 14 minutes of play.
The Sheridan defense also forced nine turnovers and gave the ball away themselves just once as they took a 55-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We knew one thing we had to do in order to win this game was win the rebounding war,” Parks said. “That’s something, just personnel wise, with bigs that we have, and the athletic guards, Pablo and Tre at the three and the four, we should definitely outrebound teams every night if we play with the effort we did tonight.”
The Generals ended up outrebounding the Lumberjacks 54-31 for the game, which carried over to an abundance of quick outlets and easy transition buckets.
Sheridan shot 87 field goals in the game, and seven different players scored in double figures.
The first thing that Hammer noticed on the stat sheet, though, was the assists column. Sheridan had 33 assists on 46 made field goals, to go along with just 12 turnovers. Tyler Hopkins finished with eight assists, and Butler had six.
“We have Tyler, JJ and Terrell, all of which are different point guards,” Parks said. “They all can bring a different element to the team. Whether it’s defensively or offensively, to be able to change interchange point guards, we just have a ton of different looks, and it really works to our advantage.”
Kyi Thomas was the leading scorer for Sheridan with 22 points, followed by Rivas with 19. Lufile and Joly each finished with a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds for Joly and 11 points and 11 rebounds for Lufile.
McCallum and Jamir Andrews chipped in 13 apiece, and Hopkins also had 11 points to go with his eight assists.
The Generals will finish off the Lions Club Thanksgiving College Basketball Classic tomorrow night with a matchup against Western Nebraska at 7 p.m. at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.