SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomore Gevon Arrington/Petersburg and freshman Tim Bing Jr./District Heights, Maryland each scored 19 points to lead No. 14 Richard Bland College to an 89-66 Region X Conference men's basketball victory past Catawba Valley (N.C.) Community College on Saturday afternoon at Statesman Hall. Sophomore Myles Markland/Petersburg added 12 points off the bench for the host Statesmen (9-2, 3-0 Region X), who won their fifth-straight game. Myles Williams scored a game-high 20 points off the bench for the visiting Red Hawks (4-3, 0-1 Region X).
Richard Bland, ranked 14th in the NJCAA Division II Preseason Poll, took an early 5-2 lead following a free throw by sophomore Jaquan Wooten/Kinston, North Carolina, a layup from sophomore Harrison Mitchell/Hampton and a slam dunk by Wooten. Catawba Valley answered with a 15-5 run to lead 17-10 with 12:10 left in the first half. The Statesmen, however, scored 11 unanswered points to lead 21-17 at 8:16, getting back-to-back three-point field goals from sophomore Deandre Clark/Orange to spark the outburst. Richard Bland continued its run to lead 34-23 with 4:32 on the clock, getting two more three-pointers from Arrington and another from Markland. The Red Hawks managed to outscore the hosts 11-3 to close to within 37-34 at the intermission. Arrington had 13 first-half points, while Markland had nine at the break.
Catawba Valley took a 39-38 lead early in the second half before Richard Bland began to take control and rolled to its 23-point victory. Markland got it started with another three-pointer, followed by three quick points by Arrington, a layup by freshman Travius Smith/Norfolk and another three-pointer by Arrington for a 49-41 advantage at 15:53. Seven quick points from Bing, including 5-6 free throws, propelled a 19-9 outburst capped by a three-pointer from freshman Brandon Henry/Chester for a 68-50 lead with 10:01 remaining. A layup from Bing, who scored all 19 of his points in the second half, made it 72-55 with 7:17 on the clock, and three consecutive three-pointers and a free throw by Bing had the hosts ahead 82-62 with 3:25 left. The Statesmen took their largest lead, also the final margin, on a free throw by Henry with 23-seconds remaining.
Arrington and Bing Jr. each led Richard Bland with their respective 19 points. Arrington added six rebounds and a game-high five assists, while Bing added a game-high six steals along with four assists. Markland finished with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Statesmen, while Henry contributed nine points off the bench. Richard Bland shot 46% (26-56) from the field, including 46% (13-28) on three-pointers, and 63% (24-38) at the free throw line.
Williams led Catawba Valley with his game-high 20 points off the bench, including 7-7 free throws. Matthew Powell added 11 points for the Red Hawks, while Kenan Turpin and Jamal Turner each had 10 points, the latter off the bench, as well. CVCC shot 31% (16-51) from the field, including 33% (6-18) on three-pointers, and 62% (28-45) at the line.
Richard Bland was playing Catawba Valley for the seventh time in the sport of men's basketball, and the Statesmen now lead the series, 5-2.
Richard Bland will take a week off for fall semester examinations before continuing home action against Region X member Guilford Technical (N.C.) Community College next Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. at Statesman Hall.