Longwood Lancers accelerate past Pfeiffer 100-68

Published 8:51 pm Sunday, November 13, 2022

FARMVILLE – More than 1,400 fans celebrated the 2021-22 Big South Championship with a ring ceremony and banner reveal prior to tipoff. Then, the Longwood Lancers picked up where they left off last year and showed why Willett Hall is one of the toughest places to play.

In front of a loud and energetic crowd, Longwood took out Pfeiffer 100-68 with a fast-paced attack.

Isaiah Wilkins led the charge for Longwood with 21 points. He repeatedly pushed the tempo, along with Walyn Napper and the rest of an athletic Lancer guard group, and Longwood scored 26 fast-break points.

“We need to push the ball,” Aldrich said. “Isaiah did a really good job. We saw Walyn really get out and go. That’s been something he’s been trying to understand. He’s been doing such a good job trying to do what we want him to do, and I think that’s put the governor on him a little bit. We told him, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to go. That’s your time to attack.’ And I think we saw him explode a little bit more in transition. I thought that got us some really open looks. It was about 18-16, and then it popped open, and I thought it was our transition offense that got us going.”

Longwood Lancers collect season’s best

The Longwood big men also got in on the action, with Leslie Nkereuwem adding 17 points while Zac Watson chipped in 10. The duo helped Longwood score a season-best 56 points in the paint, and Nkereuwem didn’t miss a shot from the floor on the night after going 8-8.

At the start of the game, the two sides traded basketball back and forth. Pfeifer’s Taylan Rowe and Clayton Robinson combined for four three’s as the two sides were locked together through the first nine minutes.

However, Longwood’s defense stiffened up and shut down Pfeiffer. The Lancers forced four turnovers and held Pfeiffer to 0-7 from the floor, and it shifted Longwood’s transition attack into overdrive.

Five players scored during the ensuing 19-2 run that proved decisive for Longwood. Wilkins hit a pair of threes that helped jumpstart the run, and Longwood never looked back.

Clayton Robinson led Pfeiffer with 12 points and five assists.

‘We have to be consistent’

“We have to be consistent,” Aldrich said about his team’s continued growth early in the season. “All we talked about at halftime is maintaining our urgency, and we immediately dipped at the beginning of the second half. Pfeiffer came out and scored a layup, a three, and knocked the ball out of bounds on us. We weren’t urgent. We have a saying: Every possession matters. That’s a mindset. That’s uncommon, to have that mindset, when you’re up 20-something, to say, ‘I’m still going to go at you,’ but that’s something that we are fighting for. We will get there, but we’re not there yet.”

Longwood stays home to host the JK 54 Classic, sponsored by North Street Press Club, this weekend. The feast of basketball features Virginia Military Institute, Fairleigh Dickinson and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as all three come to Farmville for six games in three days from Friday-Sunday.

The Lancers open the classic against VMI on Friday night at 5 p.m. while Fairleigh Dickinson and SIUE square off at 7 p.m. All games in the classic will be aired on ESPN+, and all Longwood games will be aired on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.