By Jacques Lee |Staff Writer|
The Coyotes jumped out to a big lead early in the game, going up 16-0 within the first five minutes of the game.
The Coyotes continued to dominate offensively and defensively throughout the first 20 minutes and ended the first half with a commanding 44-19 lead.
However, the Coyotes were outscored in the second half by the Gators, who actually brought the game within 18 points, 58-40 with eight minutes to play.
But the Coyotes would not let the game one slip away, as they continued to lead finished off with the victory.
The Coyotes finished the game shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from three-point range.
“The ball went into the basket, it’s the best we’ve shot the ball all year, I think anytime the ball goes into the basket consistently as a team it gets kind of contagious so that was good to see,” said head coach Jeff Oliver, regarding the team’s performance.
Senior guard Isaiah Morton (11) was the man in charge throughout the night, and helped the Coyotes get this big win with his monster of a game.
Morton had an electrifying night scoring a total 26 points to lead all scorers in the game.
Morton shot 82 percent from the field and only missed two shots the entire game.
“I was just playing the game. Guys were feeding me, and we were just moving the ball a lot,” Morton said about his performance. “We usually have guys that have big games, so tonight was just my night.”
Morton was not alone in the scoring column, however, as Sophomore Everett Turner (16), seniors Taylor Statham (10), Tevin Harris (9), and Gilbert Parga (9) added on with a combined total of 44 points.
Junior guard Jacob Thomas is the Coyotes leading scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game, however, that wasn’t the case Thursday night.
Thomas finished the game with only three points, but what he lacked in scoring he made up for by being one of the biggest components in a potent Coyote offense.
Thomas accounted for nine assists and four steals, one of which led to a huge slam dunk by Thomas on a fast break in the second half.
“Jacob Thomas distributing the ball was incredibly phenomenal, however, we still need him to score,” said Oliver.
Thomas also received praise from Morton, the leading scorer of the night.
“Oh yeah he definitely did a real good job swinging the ball everywhere. Usually he is the one that scores a lot so that threw the other team off and that helped a lot,” said Morton about his teammate’s impact on the game.
The Coyotes improved their record tonight to a modest 7-9 overall, 7-6 in conference play, and 6-0 at home.
The team is currently tied for third in the conference with Sonoma State, so there could be more than a possibility that the Coyotes will be able to make it to conference.