Maryville College Men's Basketball opened the 2019 season and the Raul Placeres era on Saturday, as the Scots fell to Johnson University, 77-60, in the Randy Lambert Classic.
MC struggled on the night from beyond the arc, as the Scots shot just 2-of-24 from long range. Johnson managed to outscore Maryville, 46-32, in the second half behind an early run.
The Orange and Garnet followed senior Joshua Brooks on the night, who tallied 16 points – 10 of those coming at the charity stripe. Freshman Felix Uadiale had 11 points, while he and Nick Clifton led the Scots with seven boards each.
Johnson had a trio of scorers in double figures, while Cody Jones led the way with 18 for the Knoxville school.
Maryville fell behind 10-0 early in the first half, as the Royals came out shooting 3-of-5 that included a 2-of-3 performance from the 3-point line.
The teams played to a 24-11 score in favor of Johnson, before Maryville managed a late first-half rally. Maryville went on a 13-2 run that saw Brooks tally eight of his team-high 16 points in a 3:08 span. Barron Nease added a key trey in the run, as he also had a pair of free throws.
Those charity tosses pulled MC to within two, 26-24, with 4:35 left in the half. Johnson scored five unanswered, before Maryville bucketed the final four points of the half with a Uadiale lay-up and a pair of Brooks free throws.
At the half, MC trailed 31-28.
Brooks had 11 points and four assists, as Clifton had six points and seven boards. MC's defense kept the game close, as the Scots posted eight first-half blocks – four of those by Uadiale. Clifton and Brooks added two each.
Gavin Grubb had 11 points for Johnson in the first half, as he went a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Johnson would tally a key run to start the second half, however, going on an 11-3 rally before the first media timeout. MC's only field goal in the span was a lay-in by Uadiale, 43-31.
The Scots managed just three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the half, as Johnson took a 56-39 lead. The Royals extended that lead to as many as 24, before MC's offense was able to score 21 points over the final 10 minutes of play.
Maryville (0-1) was paced by Brooks' 16 points, as he added four assists, three steals, two rebound and two blocks. Ualdiale had 11 points, seven boards, four blocks and an assist, while Clifton had eight points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two steals and an assist on the night.
Brice Martin had five points and five rebounds, as Nease added five points of his own. Kordell Kah and Brandon Green had four points each, while Cam Gwyn had three points. Donovan Jackson and Trevor Gaines-Perry had two points apiece in MC's season opener.
Maryville shot 21-of-69 (30.4 percent) on the night, as they posted an 8.3-percent effort from long range. Inside the arc, the Scots went 19-of-45 for a 42-percent outing.
The Scots went 16-of-28 at the free-throw line, as the Royals outrebounded MC 54-41. Maryville had 15 offensive boards with 10 second-chance points. They also forced 24 turnovers, turning those into 20 points on the night.
Johnson (4-1) saw Jones post 18 point, five rebounds and two assists to lead the Royals. Grubb had 13 point with a 3-of-5 effort from long range, as he added six rebounds, five assists and a steal. MC held the 6-foot-11 Estiven Estacio to just 10 points and eight rebounds, as he added a trio of blocks on the night.
Johnson shot 24-of-58 (41.4 percent), while bucking nine treys at a 42.9-percent clip. They also went 20-of-29 from the free-throw line on the night.
Maryville will return to action tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 17. MC hosts Webster University in the final game of the Randy Lambert Classic at 4:00 p.m. Johnson University and Piedmont College will play at 2:00 p.m. inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium.