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Bloom’s dominance inside was enough to overcome some fourth-quarter woes Friday night, as the host Blazing Trojans held on for a 74-69 Southland Conference win over Rich Central.
“We played a great three quarters and then a bad fourth quarter,” said Bloom coach Jasper Williams, who did not allow his players to talk to the media. “We’ve been making free throws really well the last three or four games and tonight we didn’t do it.”
Zerrell Jackson led Bloom (16-3, 6-1) with 18 points while Johnny Griffin (16 points, five rebounds) and James Coleman (14 points, 12 in the first half) controlled the paint.
“They didn’t have anyone to cover [Coleman],” Williams said. “We should have kept giving him the ball in the second half.”
Jalen Miller had 23 points and six rebounds and Jamaal Murray had 19 points and five rebounds for Rich Central (8-12, 3-3).
Bloom scored all 17 of its first-quarter points in the paint, led 38-27 at the half and was in cruise control before missing 11 of 20 fourth-quarter free throw attempts. Jared Johnson hit three free throws in the final 19 seconds to seal the win.