South Carolina Warriors use defense to top Japan Gymrats

From staff reportsDecember 4, 2012 

— John Kefalas is satisfied that his team has finally gotten to the level he wants them to execute on defense.

The South Carolina Warriors, who were trying out a new starting rotation Tuesday, took down the Shizuoka Gymrats 159-83.

“We changed the chemistry up with the starters,” Kefalas said. “In the first quarter we gave up only 14 points and in the second quarter we only gave up 11, so I think we’re getting there defensively. Now we have five starters that all can play defense.”

Shaq Johnson scored a team-high 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds, LaShun Watson had a double-double (27 points, 10 rebounds), and Kellen Brand added 21 points for the Warriors.

“They played great,” Kefalas said. “They played what I coach – defense. I’m very proud of them. They escalated to the level I expect to coach them on defense.”

Georgetown native Brendon Knox (14), Pat Lewis (11), and Matt Kendrick (10) all finished in double-digit scoring for South Carolina (8-0). The Jacksonville Giants will host the Warriors on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We have to work hard this weekend at Jacksonville, it’s a big game,” Kefalas said. “They’re ranked number one and we’re ranked number three. It will be a good battle and a challenge. These guys are hard-nosed game performers and we’ll look for the same type of performance on Saturday night.”

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