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Published: Saturday, 11/25/2000

Reynolds sharp in win over SE Missouri

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

So he asked coach Stan Joplin if he could open it up a little bit.

Joplin obliged. And Reynolds and the Rockets were off and running.

The 20-year-old freshman scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as Toledo cruised to a 59-43 victory over Southeast Missouri State in the first round of the Energia Systems Thanksgiving Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

“He really hurt us,” Southeast Missouri State coach Gary Garner said.

Reynolds, 5-9 and a muscular 180 pounds, hurt the Indians (2-1) in more ways than one.

He hit 7 of 12 shots from the floor in his first collegiate start, made all eight of his free throws, had five rebounds, five assists, two steals and no turnovers in 34 minutes.

“Terry plays the game like it's supposed to be played,” said senior forward Greg Stempin, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the Rockets' opener.

“I can't remember the last time our point guard had five assists and no turnovers.”

Reynolds is the first true point guard to play for Joplin.

Reynolds spent last season at a prep school, Maine Central Institute, and the previous two years at Oak Hill Academy, considered one of the premier high school programs in the country.

His superior on-court experience was evident yesterday.

Reynolds out-played Southeast Missouri State guard Michael Stokes, a preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team pick.

Stokes, who led the Indians to an NCAA Tournament berth last season, finished with just three points in 26 minutes.

Reynolds also helped the Rockets (1-0) advance to today's 3 p.m. semifinal, where they will meet Auburn (3-1).

Auburn defeated Robert Morris 89-71 yesterday.

“I just came out and played hard,” Reynolds said. “I wanted to get everyone involved in the game, get myself involved in the game.”

Reynolds was held to seven points in the first half as the Rockets built a 10-point lead.

But Toledo scored just two points in the final 9:01 as the Indians forged a 17-17 halftime tie.

The Rockets, playing for the first time in 15 days, shot 24 per cent from the field (6 of 25) in the first half , including just 13 per cent from 3-point range (1 of 8).

And, they managed just 4 of 11 from the foul line (36 per cent).

“This was our first game and people were nervous, including me, and we were rushing shots,” Reynolds said.

“But then we settled down in the second half and that was the difference.”

Actually, Reynolds was the difference.

“Terry kept saying he thought he could take (Stokes),” Joplin said. “So we set a play up. After he did it once, I said, `Hey, he might be right.' It opened up some things and he started to penetrate and dish off and do some nice things.

“Some of those shots he made were because of his strength. He finished really well at the basket.

“It just shows you what a good point guard can do.”

Reynolds was 5-for-7 from the floor in the second half, including 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

“Both teams were struggling offensively until Reynolds started getting penetration,” Garner said. “I thought he played extremely well in the second half. He got them going. He also got some baskets, and got some other guys some baskets.”

Toledo controlled the boards, out-rebounding Southeast Missouri State 47-28.

Senior forward Robierre Cullars, from St. Francis de Sales, had a team-high 12 boards.

However, the Rockets were just 1-for-10 from 3-point range and 18-of-31 from the foul line.

Stempin was 7-of-15 from the field, but most of his points came on second chances or layups. He had nine defensive rebounds.

“I wasn't hitting any outside shots, so I had to get inside and help the team that way - with some big rebounds,” he said.

Toledo forced 16 turnovers and held the Indians to 33 per cent shooting (18-of-55).

“I thought our defense was real consistent,” Joplin said.



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