Cardinals Thump Marygrove in Season Opener, 82-43

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The 2012 Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball campaign under Randy Baruth started off strong with a convincing 82-43 win over the Mustangs of Marygrove College. The Cardinals showcased tenacious defense and efficient scoring under the first year head coach.

Meijer 'Player of the Game' Brett Beland (Menominee, Mich. / Menominee HS) converted a three-point play after driving for a layup to pull the Cardinals within one at 5-6 with 15:29 left in the first half.

Sophomore Matt Burgess (Capac, Mich / Capac HS) connected in the paint on consecutive possessions to put Saginaw Valley ahead 13-11 with 10:36 remaining in the first half.

Chris Webb (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) scoop and score capped a 9-0 run to put the Cardinals ahead 22-14 in the first half with 6:42 left on the clock.

Saginaw Valley's largest lead of the first half came on an arching three-pointer by Jay Thames (Port Huron, Mich. / Northern HS), which put the Cardinals up 13 points with 2:45 left to play.

Saginaw Valley went into halftime with a 36-24 lead after a pull-up jumper by Chris Webb.

SVSU continued their aggressive defensive pressure to start the second half. A Brett Beland three-pointer, after a Rob Clark (Saginaw, Mich. / Saginaw HS) steal, put the Cardinals up 43-26 at the 17:50 mark of the second half.

Another Chris Webb steal and breakaway layup ballooned the Cardinal lead to 53-31 with 13:29 remaining in the contest. For the game, the Cardinals raced past the Mustangs 16-0 in the fast break points category.

A skying Rob Clark block maintained a 61-34 lead for Saginaw Valley with 8:10 left in the contest. The Cardinals finished the game with a 21-9 run and they cruised to a 82-43 victory.

Beland finished the contest with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor as well as 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Webb posted 14 points and five assists, going 4-4 from the stripe.

Jay Thames led SVSU on the boards with seven rebounds and chipped in seven points. Freshman Damon Bozeman (Detroit, Mich. / Madison Heights HS) pitched in nine points on 4-for-8 shooting in his debut in the Cardinal red, white and blue.

Tough defense and efficient scoring allowed Saginaw Valley to win handily. The Cardinals offense finished the game shooting 49 percent, while their pesky defense held the Mustangs to just 26 percent and forced 16 Marygrove turnovers. Saginaw Valley also dominated the points in the paint battle 46-12.

The Cardinals will continue their non-conference schedule on Thursday (Nov. 15) at 7:30 PM on the road against Cedarville (Ohio).