Sayaun Dent scored a career-high 29 points, and the Sandhills Community College basketball team got a huge lift from its bench Wednesday on the way to a 105-91 home victory over Guilford Tech.

In one of the most interesting early season matchups at The Hangar in recent years, the No. 2 nationally ranked Flyers (5-0) prevailed in a battle between unbeaten teams.

Led by Elijah Idlett with 18 points and nine rebounds, Cameron Richardson with 12 and 10, and Nathan Yow with 11 points, including three treys and four assists, coach Mike Apple’s non-starters outscored their Titan counterparts 48 to 19.

Freshman Derreco Miller contributed the other seven points off the bench and blocked four shots. Guard Brandon Burford led the Titans (4-1) with 28 points.

“That’s what early season basketball is about, developing your players and developing your bench,” Apple said afterward. “You see moments where guys are starting to figure it out.”

The homestand continued with a contest Saturday against Patrick Henry CC (0-2), another Division II opponent. Results were not available by press time.

The Flyers and Titans got to watch each other play twice last Friday and Saturday at the Chatlee Marine Classic hosted by Sandhills.

“We just knew if we could control the backboards and play at our pace, they couldn’t keep up so that’s what we tried to do,” said Dent, who has made 35 free throws in a row after making all nine of his attempts against the Titans.

The visitors held the upper hand early. They led 21-16 at the 12-minute mark of the first half when a tip-in by Richardson started a 7-0 Flyer run. A three by Idlett, from Yow, and then a three by Yow from Evan Davis, gave the home team a 24-21 lead it never relinquished.

A productive half by Richardson that included eight points and eight rebounds helped the Flyers take a 52-44 lead into the intermission. The 6-foot-7 freshman from Whiteville High School has come on strong in the last two games as he adjusts to college basketball.

“My teammates have coached me up in practice and made me work hard,” he said. “I just started getting better every game and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

A jumper by Corry Addison at the start of the second half gave the Flyers a 10-point lead they stretched to 19 when Savion Staton split a pair of free throws making it 89-70 with 6:58 remaining in the game. Burford then led a Titan rally that reduced the margin to six points at 96-90 at the 1:59 mark.

Baskets by Idlett and Addison, and six points by Dent, including four free throws, sealed the win.

“They were 4-0 like us so we knew we had to come out with a win,” Dent said. “This gives us the confidence that we can probably compete with anybody.”

The 6-3 product of West Bladen High School is averaging 23.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

“Sayaun is in a good place basketball-wise right now,” his coach said. “He’s very efficient, doing a good job of taking what the defense gives him and at the same time being aggressive and looking for his shot.

“I liked a lot of stuff we did tonight, I thought we controlled the backboards. Offensively I thought we got faster and really put their defense on their heels. I thought we did some good things defensively early. Then I thought we broke down and allowed guys to get to the rim on us.”

The Flyers finished with a 54-41 edge in rebounds and had another good night at the free throw line, finishing 19-for-24.

GuilfordTech – Burford 9 10-11 28, Hughes 5 0-1 11, Saigo 8 3-4 19, Patterson 2 8-10 12, Rock 1 0-0 2, McKinzie 0 0-0 0, Boyce 1 0-2 3, Camper 1 0-0 2, Elliott 4 1-2 10, Sanders 1 0-0 2, Herring 0 2-4 2 Totals 32 24-34 91. 

Sandhills – Staton 3 1-2 9, Allmond 2 3-4 7, Dent 10 9-9 29, Addison 5 0-0 10, Davis 0 2-2 2, Idlett 7 1-2 18, Ratliffe 0 0-0 0, Yow 4 0-0 11, Bryan 0 0-0 0, Bailey 0 0-0 0, Miller 3 1-2 7, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Richardson 5 2-3 12, Medins 0 0-0 0 Totals 39 19-24 105.

Three-point goals: GTCC 3 (Hughes, Boyce, Elliott); SCC 8 (Idlett 3, Yow 3, Staton 2).

This article was provided by the SCC athletics department.

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