Posted: Feb 10, 2013 11:18 AM
KANSAS CITY - Michael Banks, Jr. shot 6-of-8 from three-point range and tied a career high with 20 points, leading Central Methodist to a 70-63 Heart of America Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over Avila (Mo.) on Saturday in Mabee Fieldhouse.
Central Methodist (15-11, 8-6 HAAC) trailed 12-2 in the first five minutes before Banks, Jr. and Melvin Tillman nailed back-to-back threes to get the visitors going. The Green and Black used a 15-4 run, capped by an Alex Barner rebound and putback, midway through the half to grab their first lead 23-22 with 5:30 on the clock. Banks, Jr. tied the game 30-all at a minute to play with his second trey of the first 20 minutes before Darian Davis canned his only bucket from distance as time expired to put Central Methodist up by three points at halftime.
Banks, Jr. broke a 36-all tie four minutes into the second half with a three from the corner before he and Eric Franklin each buried a trey to push the visitor's lead to seven, 45-38, with 14:45 to play. Banks, Jr. canned back-to-back treys three minutes later to make the score 53-40.
Avila (8-16, 3-11 HAAC) answered and was able to cut the deficit to one point, 60-59, with 1:23 to go in the game after a Keith Taylor offensive rebound and bucket, but Central Methodist's Elliott Black and Franklin hit tough buckets to stretch the lead back to two possessions and seal the game.
Black, the reigning HAAC Player of the Week, and Franklin narrowly missed double-doubles. Black finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Franklin tallied 13 points and nine assists.
Brandon Redmond led Avila with a double-double, posting 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sedrick Johnson also had 14 points, while Zach Smith followed up with 13.
Central Methodist shot 50 percent (21-of-42) from the field and won the game with stellar three-point shooting despite losing the offensive rebounding and turnover battles. The visitors were 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from behind the arc, while Avila was 0-of-11 from distance.
Central Methodist travels to archrival Missouri Valley on Thursday, Feb. 14. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.