Even with an entire offseason behind Lycoming College, it was business as usual Friday night.
The Warriors played their usual fast-paced offense with Kevin Anthony's signature slam dunks capping off turnovers as Lycoming College routed Penn State Wilkes-Barre, 88-45, in the season opener at Lycoming College in Lycoming College's 15th annual Tip-Off tournament.
With 10:27 to go in the second half, Lycoming's Michael Rudy saved a ball from going out of bounds, tipping it to a streaking John Ryan Wolff.
And in traditional Lycoming College (1-0) fashion, Wolff advanced the ball to Anthony in the open court for a powerful two-handed slam that extended the Warriors' lead to 39 points, driving the final nail in Penn State Wilkes-Barre's (0-2) coffin.
Anthony missed just one shot on the night - making eight of nine shots from the field - while constantly penetrating the paint for a game-high 19 points.
"Kevin's maturity each year seems to grow and get better," said Lycoming College had coach Guy Rancourt. "He's been stronger and he's doing good things."
It wasn't just Anthony doing good things, though, as the Warriors raced up and down the court, scoring 20 points in transition. The Warriors used every opportunity possible to get out and run, as the Mountain Lions struggled to get back in transition and guard the fast-break score.
"Transition is critical to what we do," Rancourt said. "We were able to get out and it was a good showing."
Along with scoring in bunches, the Warriors played air-tight defense on the perimeter, holding the Mountain Lions to just 5-28 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. The Mountain Lions hoisted up shot after shot from beyond the 3-point arc, but were usually met with a contesting hand from a Lycoming defender.
"I thought our rotations were good," Rancourt said of the perimeter defense. "The guys communicated well and that's the most important thing. I thought they brought it tonight."
Between Lycoming's quick perimeter rotations and a fast-paced transition game, Penn State Wilkes-Barre struggled getting the ball into the paint, taking low percentage shots while rarely creating contact to get to the free-throw line.
"We are going to shoot a lot of 3's and we have to make them," said Penn State Wilkes-Barre head coach Scott Miner. "We didn't and we are going to struggle a little bit because we have to find someone to score inside and we haven't done that yet."
And while the "It's all over" chants from the Lycoming College section at the 10-mintute mark in the first half may have been premature, it was clear early on that the Mountain Lions couldn't keep up with Lycoming's transition game.
It didn't matter whether or not it was starting point guard Jerald Williams - he had nine assists on the night and just one turnover - or Wolff and shooting guard Patrick Dougher pushing the ball up the court, the Warriors got out and ran early and often.
"I thought we played well in the first 10 minutes," Miner said. "I thought we competed hard but once they went on a little bit of a run we kind of stopped our intensity and really stopped playing hard. We let them get out in the open floor far too much."
Along with out-shooting the Mountain Lions from both the floor and the free-throw line, the Warriors out-rebounded Penn State Wilkes-Barre, 44-39, while committing nine less turnovers and dished out 11 more assists.
In reality, the only dark spot on Lycoming's season opener was 15 turnovers, which, in Lycoming's offense, doesn't mean a whole lot.
"When you go with a fast-paced style you get more possessions, and the more possessions you have the more turnovers you're going to have," Rancourt said. "So it's hard to really judge that at this point, but it's something we'll always keep an eye on."
PENN STATE-WB 45
PENN STATE WILKES-BARRE (0-2)
Denzel Mensah 5-9 4-7 14; Drew Walker 3-7 0-0 9; Gregory Cooper 3-6 2-4 8; Ahmed Ali 2-4 0-0 5; Travis Dunlap 1-6 0-0 3; Jacob Bronder 1-6 0-0 2; Keith Johnson 1-10 0-0 2; Anwar Ahmed 0-1 1-2 1; William Danwah 0-6 1-2 1; Bre'yan Jones 0-0 0-0 0; Marques Middleton 0-3 0-0 0; Jesse O'Connell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-60 8-15 45.
Kevin Anthony 8-9 3-5 19; Ihsaan Davis 3-8 2-2 10; Justin Miller 3-5 3-3 9; Anthony Martin 3-4 2-2 8; Patrick Dougher 3-4 0-0 8; Kevin Laurence El 2-3 1-2 6; William Wingate 1-3 3-4 5; Adam Francis 2-3 1-4 5; Chris Foreman 2-5 0-0 5; Jerald Williams 1-1 2-2 4; Armani Taylor 1-1 1-1 3; Rob Pillow IV 0-2 2-2 2; John Ryan Wolff 1-2 0-0 2; Michael Rudy 1-6 0-0 2; Eric Ishman 0-2 0-0 0; Chido Enweze 0-1 0-0 0; John Monkam 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-60 20-27 88.
Halftime:?Lycoming, 52-24. 3-point goals--PSWB 5-28 (Walker 3-6; Dunlap 1-5; Ali 1-3; Johnson 0-5; Danwah 0-5; Middleton 0-3; O'Connell 0-1), Lycoming 6-19 (Davis 2-5; Dougher 2-3; Foreman 1-3; Laurence El 1-1; Francis 0-1; Pillow IV 0-2; Rudy 0-1; Ishman 0-2; Wingate 0-1). Fouled out--O'Connell. Rebounds--PSWB 39 (Mensah 9), Lycoming 44 (Davis 6). Assists--PSWB 11 (Johnson 4), Lycoming 22 (Williams 9). Total fouls--PSWB 24, Lycoming 18. Technical fouls--none