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Young is in the part of its schedule where it will face teams who aren’t as talented but are familiar with the Dolphins and aren’t intimidated by them.
Top-ranked Young survived a physical battle especially amongst their big men but got great production from its guards in upending Red-West rival Marshall 78-47 on Wednesday evening.
“These are the tough games to play,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. ``We have to grind these ones out because we know that we have a target on our back every time we are playing.’’
But for a brief period near the end of the third quarter, the game lacked rhythm mainly because of all the foul calls. Marshall was intent on not letting Young have any uncontested shot but did so by fouling them. The Commandos used 12 players and still had two of them foul out of the game.
“We just know to keep our head and stay with what coach wants us to do,” L.J. Peak said. ``We’ve been getting physical play a lot lately.’’
Peak along with Miles Reynolds tied for game-high honors with 18 points and both of them did most of their scoring while Jahlil Okafor and Paul White alternately sat out with foul trouble in the second half. Their scoring helped the Dolphins (16-1, 7-0) extend an 11 point halftime lead to a 60-36 third quarter lead.
“They played well and our bench played well,’’ Slaughter said. “It’s tough for Jahlil. He gets frustrated after having three guys beating him up every trip and then he gets fouled every time he touches the ball.”
Okafor and White were still effective for Young. Both big men scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Okafor blocked five shots while White had three blocks.
Okafor scored 10 points in the first half and White added eight in leading the Dolphins to a 30-19 halftime lead.
Citron Miller led the Commandos with 11 points but fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.