PORT ARTHUR — PORT ARTHUR – Lamar State College-Port Arthur’s Tre Bennett just didn’t feel right all night … but then he got an open look at the basket with the game on the line.
Bennett, the NJCAA Region XIV leading scorer, couldn’t buy a basket through most of Wednesday’s game against Navarro College. With nine seconds left on the clock, though, the Houston sophomore put the Seahawks past Navarro with a dead-on 3-pointer for an 86-83 decision at the Carl Parker Center.
“When you’re off in a game, you have to have a short memory,” said Bennett, who finished with 22 points and seven assists. “I was off the whole game but my coaches and my teammates constantly talk to me and keep giving me confidence.”
Bennett finished the game 4 of 15 from the field and hit just two 3-pointers out of seven attempts. By comparison, he was 12 of 16 from the free throw line.
“When you’re having a tough time, it’s important to get to the line,” he said. “You have to do something to score points and kind of get your rhythm back.”
Perhaps just as critical to Wednesday night’s win was an assist from Bennett to sophomore teammate Ivan Jelencic to pull the Seahawks to within two at 83-81 with 1:29 left.
With a bunch of Navarro big bodies swallowing up any opportunity for Bennett to score, he looked to his right and found Jelencic double-teamed under the basket. A precision pass split the defenders and Jelencic went up for the huge basket.
“I was proud of our guys, they hung tough and never gave up,” Lamar State-Port Arthur Coach Lance Madison said. “We knew the team with the most discipline and the team that sticks together would win this game. We kept our composure down the stretch and we were able to close it out.”