Longwood broke a four game skid tonight taking down a solid Columbia team 70-69 on the road. It was the Lancers first non-conference true road win since November 2013 when Longwood took down TCU.


Coach Gee spoke postgame about how the team got together at the Maine team and decided to not talk about personnel limitations and rather on reinventing the team based on the current personnel.

It worked! Longwood was just solid Saturday night, that’s definitely the best word to describe their effort. They took care of the basketball and held a very good Columbia team in check. The “new look” Lancers played solid defense and put together a formula that can pay immediate dividends with a conference match up on the horizon Wednesday.

True Grit

Leron Fisher was the Player of the Game tonight as he showed tremendous effort against one of the mid-major ranks best guards, Maodo Lo. Fisher finished the night with 18 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. His 6-8 performance from the charity stripe helped Longwood seal the deal. Fisher also held Lo in check with just 9 points.

Best Player on the Court

Lotanna Nwogbo battled some foul trouble tonight but he was clutch to say the least. The big man had 14 points and 2 rebounds but it was his 8-9 performance from the line that was the biggest difference in this win. Lancer fans don’t realize what a luxury Nwogbo is especially given the fact he’s a big man that can nail free throws.

Unsung Effort

We can’t say enough about DJ Allen this year. He’s a silent assassin and most of his work goes without praise. We thought before the game that Khris Lane would draw Columbia big Alex Rosenburg on defense, but instead it was Allen who kept him in check from the perimeter. It was a good adjustment from coach Gee as early in the game Nwogbo matched up with Roseburg and he just didn’t have the quickness to stay in step with the Lions’ big.

Looking for a Hero

Chris Shields was the hero tonight nailing a difficult layup with 6 seconds to play to win the game for Longwood. Shields continues to impress in his freshman campaign and finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds.

We can’t forget about Kanayo Obi-Rapu and Khris Lane though. Obi-Rapu caught fire from beyond the arc down the stretch and kept Longwood in the game. The sophomore finished with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Lane also hit some big shots, stretching the floor for 9 points and 7 rebounds.

It’s pretty exciting for Lancer fans when you think that all three of these guys are just sophomores or freshmen.

Next Up

Longwood heads to High Point Wednesday for a conference clash against the Big South preseason favorite. The Lancers have not beaten the Panthers since joining the Big South.

Saturday, November 28, 7 PM
Levien Gymnasium (New York, NY)
Live Stream: Ivy League Digital Network (PPV)
Radio: WVHL Kicking Country

LancersBlog GameThread

Last Time Out

Exhaustion.. that was probably the best word to describe Wednesday’s loss to a bad Maine team. It looked like a shorthanded roster, crazy travel from Virginia to Kentucky to Virginia to Boston to Maine, and four games in six days caught up with the Lancers. Things don’t get any easier now as Longwood faces their toughest opponent yet this season.

Columbia’s Fatigue?

Like the Lancers, Columbia is playing a high volume of games in a few days. The Lions take on Fairfield Friday before returning home to play Longwood. Saturday’s game will be the Lions’ fourth in a seven day stretch, but three of those games have come at home. Of course this is the fifth game in nine days for Longwood, all on the road.

White’s Health

Tra’Vaughn White sat out Wednesday’s game at Maine with a wrist injury and it looked as if his arm was in a soft cast of sorts. Coach Gee mentioned he could be available at Columbia, but is it worth the risk?

In the long run Saturday’s game doesn’t have a huge impact on the season but Wednesday’s conference opener at High Point does. It’s more important for Longwood to try to get White healthy for the High Point game than to push his limits at Columbia.

Mid-Major All-Stars

If you were putting together a mid-major all-star team then Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg‘s names might just pop up. Lo, a German native, is one of the nation’s top guards and averaged 18.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Lo’s numbers are down a bit this year but the senior is still a serious threat with the ball for the Lions.

Longwood might have the most trouble guarding senior big man Alex Rosenberg. The 6’7 Rosenberg is averaging 14. 4 points per outing and has flashed an ability to nail threes this year hitting two or more in every game for the Lions this year beyond the season opener against a non-Division I opponent.

Longwood has really struggled this year against stretch fours and Khris Lane will most likely draw the assignment once again. Lane’s defensive maturation is going to be important over the next couple of games due to the fact he’s going to be facing up against Rosenberg and John Brown. Longwood did flash a lazy zone last time out and the Lancers need to shore that up and communicate better on the defensive end.

Keys to the Game

  1. Feed the Beast: Lotanna Nwogbo had a bit of a quiet 17 points and 9 rebounds against Maine. Most of that was due to early foul trouble for the big man. Saturday’s game is one of those where Nwogbo can really get going. If Longwood is going to have a chance then Nwogbo needs to have an EKU like game.
  2. Perimeter Presence: The perimeter is going to be the key on both sides of the court for Longwood Saturday. The Lancers need to do a better job of defending it despite their shorter lineups. Maine was able to convert 16 threes on Wednesday, most of which were easy. Offensively Longwood needs to shoot the three ball better after going 4-for-18 from downtown against the Black Bears. DJ Allen has quietly been a threat this year choosing his shots wisely and going 6-for-10 from downtown. Remember he came into this season as just a 24.7% shooter from three.
  3. Bench Production: Longwood needs to get something offensively from their bench to start winning games. Chris Shields has really been the only threat and showed what he could do scoring 19 points and grabbing 6 boards Wednesday.  Bryan Gee has been a good game manager and you can see him being more aggressive in shooting the ball in taking the ball to the hoop. If Isaac Belton is going to play eight to ten minutes then he needs to become more efficient on the offensive end. Belton isn’t converting open looks and is shooting just 26.3% from the floor.

Maine looked like a team that came into Wednesday’s matinee match up against Longwood hungry for a win. Longwood looked like a team hungry to get to Thanksgiving.

Longwood put together by far their most underwhelming effort of the year losing to previously winless Maine 92-82. The Lancers looked like the more talented team on the floor in Bangor but they certainly look like the most hungry. Getting pounded on the glass and not fighting for 50/50 balls.

Are the Lancers just exhausted from play four games in six days or was this just a lack effort?

Lotanna Nwogbo and Kanayo Obi-Rapu had to sit most of the first half due to foul trouble as Longwood went into halftime down 38-32. Chris Shields buoyed the Lancers with 14 points in the first half.

Down just a two shot game you thought Longwood would come out motivated for a W. Instead the Lancers looked destined for a blowout leaving Maine wide open to bomb it from three. All in all the Black Bears nailed 16 three pointers on the night.

Longwood had a chance to get the game within reach with about six minutes left but blew a few opportunities.

Shields finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Nwogbo added 17 points 9 rebounds. Khris Lane also has 9 rebounds and 11 points. Leron Fisher was the last Lancer in double-figures with 15 points.

Tra’Vaughn White was held out of the game due to a wrist injury and looked to be wearing a cast. Victor Dorsey did not make the trip and has yet to play this season.

Longwood will face their toughest test of the season this Saturday against Columbia in New York City.

Wednesday, November 25, 2:30 PM
Cross Insurance Center (Bangor, ME)
Live Stream: AmericaEast.tv
Radio: WVHL Kicking Country

LancersBlog GameThread

Last Time Out

Longwood battled host Eastern Kentucky for forty minutes on Sunday but were eventually subdued by the bigger, more athletic Colonials in a 110-97 shootout that was closer than the box score indicates. It was the first time that the Lancers’ offense really clicked this year with Lotanna Nwogbo, Leron Fisher, Tra’Vaughn White, and DJ Allen all finishing in double-figures.

Road Grind

The Lancers continue a six game road trip Wednesday with a matinee match up at Maine. Longwood is looking for it’s first road, non-conference victory since the Lancers upset TCU in November, 2013.

Create an Atmosphere

Wednesday is Maine’s home opener but don’t expect much of an atmosphere in Orono for this pre-Thanksgiving matinee. After long travel legs Longwood must find a way to create some sort of positive atmosphere and become really hungry for a road win.

Measuring Stick

Longwood has a little time to gel now and Maine should be a comparable measuring stick for the Lancers Wednesday. Maine currently only has one scorer averaging in double-figures, 6’6 freshman Issac Vann. Vann dropped 28 on Wagner last week and is averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Longwood and Khris Lane in particular have struggled a bit this year defending stretch fours and Vann is jut enough of an outside threat to keep the Lancers honest. Fellow freshman Devine Eke will likely draw Lotanna Nwogbo as he stands 6’7, 195 lbs and is averaging 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. Til Gloger, the team’s lone senior will also be active in the post.

Another youngster, Kevin Little will run the backcourt for the Black Bears. Little, a 6’0 freshman, is averaging 9.7 points, 2.3 assists and 3 turnovers per game. Longwood might be able to take advantage of a rotation that includes five freshmen and two sophomores.

These moral victory pieces are fun to watch but Longwood certainly has nothing to be ashamed of in their 110-97 loss to Eastern Kentucky today. For the first time it felt like Longwood had their chemistry and rotation settled and simply point each effort got better for the Lancers in the @EKUhoops Classic this weekends.

This afternoons effort would’ve been good enough to win any game this season and certainly good enough to beat any Big South team. Longwood cannot get discouraged and needs to take a little momentum into a Wednesday match up with Maine.

Also, everyone looked pretty healthy tonight. Lotanna Nwogbo was a beast all night with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Tra’Vaughn White also found his rhythm for the first time dropping 21 points on a 8-for-13 performance from the field. White did not surpass his previous career high 22 in a game against UMBC while he was at Duquesne.

Longwood just didn’t have an answer for EKU defensively. The Lancers started the game with terrible transition defense, then buckled down, then their was no answer for EKU’s bigger, more athletic lineup. Today was one of the first times where you could really see where the impact of Shaq Johnson and Jason Pimentel would’ve came in. Longwood needed a strong, big perimeter defender like Johnson.

Leron Fisher was also back tonight with 18 points and 9 assists for the Lancers. If Longwood had him at the level today prior to now the Lancers would be 4-1 for sure.

For now Longwood needs to rest, think positive, and score a road win at Maine on Wednesday.


Sunday, November 22, 2 PM
McBrayer Arena (Richmond, KY)
TV: OVC Digital Network
Radio: WVHL Kicking Country

LancersBlog GameThread

Last Time Out

Longwood looks to salvage a win in the @EKUHoops Classic with a Sunday matinee against the tournament’s toughest team and host Eastern Kentucky.

The Lancers are coming off a their best effort of the year in a 78-67 loss to Ball State that was closer than the box score indicates. Kanayo Obi-Rapu and Khris Lane had strong performances for Longwood combining for nearly 40 points.

Finding Rhythm

Longwood continues to try to find some rhythm as seven members of the Lancers roster have missed a game one way or another this season.

Tra’Vaughn White is just 1-for-15 shooting in this weekend in his two starts and is struggling to find that shooters touch that he’s shown in the past at the JUCO level and Duquesne. Similarly Leron Fisher was 1-for-6 in his first appearance yesterday, but did get to the line twice in the first half.

Two things are clear right now; Lotanna Nwogbo and White are not 100% and Jayson Gee is still searching for a natural flow and rhythm to his rotations. It’s a very tough task right now as he’s trying to get a squad healthy and win games at the same time.  Patience is important and it’s paramount that Longwood can start to gel and find their rotations by mid-December. Losses are frustrating right now, but in the long run they are unimportant to a degree.

What to Expect

There is no telling what to expect when you’re playing a third game in three days, especially against a tournament host. This game could be a blow out for EKU due to the banged up roster lineup and comforts of home but it could also be a close one.

Longwood fell in their second game of the EKU Hoops Classic tonight 78-67 to Ball State. While the loss hurts, it was clearly the Lancers best effort this season and something to build off of.

Rotation/Injury Woes

It’s pretty clear the coach Gee is still figuring out his rotation and he’s having to do it with a less than healthy Lotanna Nwogbo and Tra’Vaughn White. Nwogbo fouled out Saturday and only played 19 minutes going 1-for-9 from the field and posting 4 points and 5 rebounds.

Leron Fisher entered back into the rotation tonight. Fisher came out immediately and showed his slashing ability posting 5 points but he was quickly yanked in the first half and was limited to 16 minutes on the night and a 1-for-6 performance from the field.

Bryan Gee was once again in the lineup for crunch time and finished with 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. White once again struggled going 0-for-4 from the field and finishing with 2 points and 5 assists. White has yet to show that he’s an offensive threat.

The Good

Khris Lane, Kanayo Obi-Rapu, and Chris Shields were the stars in this game for Longwood. Obi-Rapu once again heated up in the second half to bring Longwood within striking distance. Obi-Rapu finished with 21 points and 3 assists.

Lane stepped up in the post with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Shields came off the bench to add 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Up Next

Longwood will look to salvage a win tomorrow against host Eastern Kentucky for a 2 PM tipoff that can be seen on the OVC Digital Network. EKU defeated both Ball State and South Carolina State this weekend.

ball_state_cardinals300x180Saturday, November 21, 4:30 PM
McBrayer Arena (Richmond, KY)
TV: NA (thanks EKU!)
Radio: WVHL Kicking Country

LancersBlog GameThread

Last Time Out…

Longwood is looking to rebound from a tough and disappointing 83-77 loss to South Carolina State last night. Longwood got off to hot start holding an early nine point lead but a 20-2 first half run would put the Lancers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

Release the Kraken!

Longwood has been missing a bit of defensive grit to start the season and that could change tonight with the reintroduction of Leron Fisher to the lineup. Fisher is Longwood’s most menacing guard on the defensive end and hopefully he’ll help jump start the Lancer defense. Offensively, Fisher’s slashing ability should give Longwood another asset and we saw that he could also get it done from the outside last season.

Feed the Beast

Coach Gee said they were going to throw everything at South Carolina State to win the first game of the tournament. That meant 30 minutes for Lotanna Nwogbo, which resulted in career highs with 27 points and 15 rebounds. But does Nwogbo’s max effort means he’s less available tonight and tomorrow in the Lancers shorthanded frontcourt? Don’t forget Longwood has a quick turnaround and long road trip after this tournament as well.

Khris Lane will also start to feel the effects after playing 38 minutes last night.  Especially given the fact Victor Dorsey did not make the trip to Richmond, KY.

Out of Rhythm

Tra’Vaughn White was out of rhythm last night and had an 1-for-11 performance from the floor. Coach Gee was put in the precarious position of turning to a cold player or turning to Bryan Gee. Gee got the key minutes down the stretch for the Lancers and performed well nailing a three and finishing with 3 assists.

White isn’t going to have many nights like last night, he just needs to get going from a scoring standpoint. From a pure point guard standpoint he did a great job with 5 assists and only 1 turnover.

A Familiar Foe

This is the second season in a row that Longwood will match up with Ball State. Last year the Lancers lost 69-64 in Muncie in a game in which Quincy Taylor dropped 20 points on the Cardinals. No one on the current Longwood roster ended that game in double-figures. Nwogbo did have 6 points and 8 rebounds.

Longwood lead in almost every statistical category in that game a year ago. The biggest difference was the Cardinals got to the line 35 times while the Lancers had only 8 free throws.

south_carolina_state_bulldogs_logoFriday, November 20, 8:30ish PM
McBrayer Arena (Richmond, KY)
TV: NA (thanks EKU!)
Radio: WVHL Kicking Country

LancersBlog GameThread

Last time out…

After a slow start Monday, Longwood came back from a three point halftime deficit to take down La Roche 89-65 in Willett Hall. Kanayo Obi-Rapu lead the way for the Lancers with 27 points and 6 rebounds.

About South Carolina State

Longwood will get their first look at a Division I opponent Friday night against South Carolina State in the @EKUHoops Classic. The Bulldogs come into Friday’s game 1-1 after losing to Charleston by 20 and dispatching a non-Division I opponent Monday. SC State was picked to finish eighth out of 13 MEAC teams in the preseason poll.

Longwood last met South Carolina State on the road in 2012. A shorthanded Lancers squad lost 74-58 to the Bulldogs.

Player to Watch

Junior guard EJ Eaves has been the go to guy early for the Bulldogs. Through two games the 6’3 Eaves is averaging 17 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.

Time to Start

Tra’Vaughn White came off the bench for 13 points and 4 assists on Monday and he’s now expected to take over the starting role at point guard for Longwood. The Duquesne transfer was nursed into the season not playing against Hampden-Sydney and coming off the bench the other two games. Hopefully White’s presence will help to jump start the Lancers offense, as slow starts have been a concern early this season.

What to Expect

Ken Pomeroy predicts a 75-70 win for Longwood against the Bulldogs. The Lancers biggest advantage should be Lotanna Nwogbo and Khris Lane in the paint as South Carolina State currently doesn’t have a player averaging above 3.5 rebounds per game beyond 6’7 Gabe McCray, who is averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Longwood has to get off to a quick start and take care of the basketball, as the Lancers have already turned the ball over 24 times this season. Tra’Vaughn White may help that and he will certainly add an outside threat to help space the floor for Longwood.

Coach Gee said they were going to throw everything and the kitchen sink at this game to make sure Longwood gets a “W” in the win column to open the tournament.


obi rapu vs la roche

Kanayo Obi Rapu is averaging 24.5 points per game early on in the season. Photo Credit:  Matthew Alexander

In this installment of the Overtime Report, we’ll look at the performance of the Longwood Lancers as they beat Randolph College on Friday and La Roche College on Monday to obtain their first 2-0 start since 2000 (when they were ranked #21 nationally in the Division II polls).

The overall feeling in regards to these games is that the Lancers have struggled in some areas but found a way to win.  It seems that expectations are so high that even 20+ point victories over Non-DI competition isn’t good enough.  That argument is valid but at the same time, these are college kids and they play to the level of their competition at times, to a certain degree.

In the Randolph game, Longwood took a 41-25 advantage into halftime.  Kanayo Obi Rapu, DJ Allen, and Khris Lane combined for 28 first half points (11, 9, & 8 respectively).  For the most part, those three have been the studs through two games.  The Lancers maintained their margin in the second half and finished the game 20 points ahead of the Wildcats, 69-49.

Obi Rapu finished with 22 points (a career high), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Lane was probably the player of the game, however.  The redshirt sophomore finished with 16 points and 20 rebounds (8 offensive).  For those of you wondering, Jerome Kersey is the rebound record holder in Willett Hall with 26 back in 1984.

The Lancers didn’t shoot the ball particularly well as they went 23-62 (37%) from the floor.  The impressive stat is that Longwood held the visitors to 16-53 (30%) shooting on the night.  No Wildcats player scored more than 7 points.  Also, for one reason or another, the Lancers played a rotation of just 8 players.  Longwood will consistently play upwards of 10 players throughout the season.

The La Roche game was a little more concerning for Lancer Nation.  Specifically, the first half didn’t go as well as Longwood would have liked.  The Lancers trailed the Redhawks 35-32 at the break.

Longwood shot 52% from the floor in the first half and La Roche shot 35%.  Also, the Redhawks somehow outrebounded the Lancers 18-16 in the opening half.  Basically, the difference was that the Redhawks were 9-9 from the free throw line and 4-7 from 3 point land.

The second half was a different story for the Lancers as  Longwood came out with purpose.  The Lancers outscored the Redhawks 57-30 which led to the 89-65 margin of victory.  The home team shot 62% from the field and held the visitors to 36% in the second half.  Obi Rapu (recognizing a theme here?) scored 18 second half points to give him a new career high of 27.  He also pulled down 6 boards and had 2 steals.  Lotanna Nwogbo warmed up a little more in this game as he finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks in 24 minutes of action.

If nothing else, these first two games have shown that this Longwood team is capable of responding.  They’ve seen their share of issues early on, but they’re finding ways to come together and win.  I know they’re 2-0 against Division III schools in the regular season, but there’s nothing wrong with setting your schedule so that you can get off to a good start.  Although this team has a lot of experience in general, they lack game experience with one another.  Coach Jayson Gee was smart to create a schedule that allows his team to learn on the fly and still succeed.

Starting Friday, the Lancers will play 3 games in 3 days as part of the @EKUHoops Classic.  Longwood will play South Carolina State (1-1) on Friday, Ball State (1-1) on Saturday, and host Eastern Kentucky (1-1) on Sunday.  It’s reasonable to see the Lancers winning 2 of 3 during the weekend.