Sammy Allen couldn’t help but smile.
On a night for the record books, he had put in plenty of work, and he enjoyed every minute.
Allen tallied a rare triple-double and the No. 8 UTPB men’s basketball team rolled to a 99-56 win over Arlington Baptist in nonconference action on Monday in the Falcon Dome, with the Falcons senior guard scoring 11 points, dishing 10 assists and hauling in 12 rebounds to complete an uncommon feat in the college game.
“It feels great,” Allen said with a grin after the win. “It feels real great.”
The Falcons cruised by their NCCAA competition to pick up their 10th straight victory, with the game well in hand before Allen laid in a basket to take his scoring line from nine points to 11 with just more than three minutes to play — and cinch a fitting, high-effort achievement for the high-effort senior, a 6-foot-2 guard who ranks among the Division II’s top 10 players in rebounding.
Allen entered Monday averaging 11.8 rebounds per game and is often praised by coaches and teammates alike for his work on defense and away from the basketball, and Monday night, he was mobbed by them with congratulations when he checked out for the final time after scoring that last lay-in and completing his triple-double.
“He makes plays that nobody else makes, with his effort, with his heart, with his toughness and with his desire to get his hands on the ball,” UTPB head coach Andy Newman said of Allen. “He’s really a special player in that regard.”
Six Falcons players scored in double figures Monday night, and UTPB led 38-21 at the halftime break before rolling on in the second half.
Allen recorded 10 rebounds in the first half alone, and dished five assists before the break.
“He deserves it,” Falcons forward Josh Morris said of Allen. “He never focuses on offense. He always focuses on defense. He does the hard things that not everybody wants to do. Seeing him get that triple-double — everybody was happy for him.”
With Allen’s achievement highlighting the night, UTPB handled its business to get to 13-1 on the season. The Falcons are 5-0 in Lone Star Conference play, and return to league action later this week for two tests on the road at Texas A&M-Kingsville and Angelo State.
Monday night, Morris scored a game-high 23 points, adding 10 rebounds for a double-double of his own. Shooting guard Garrett Baggett came off the bench to sink five 3-pointers for 15 points in 14 minutes.
Daeshon Francis scored 12, powering down a flashy alley-oop pass from Allen in transition midway through the first half to put UTPB up 16-6 with 11:08 to play until the break.
Allen said, on a personal note, he had been struggling off the floor earlier Monday, but met with a classmate and former teammate to pray in the afternoon, then, on the court, that early dish to Francis set him on his way from turning a ‘bad day’ into a night for the record books.
“Starting off, I had a bad day,” he said. “I just let God handle it, and I’d do the rest.
“I came in the game, and I got the first alley-oop pass to Daeshon Francis. What’s so crazy, he told me, ‘It’s going to be there tonight,’ and I said, ‘OK,’ and it was that first pass and I got it there. Then I said, ‘OK, I’ve got something coming for me.’ That was it.”
Newman called Allen’s feat the first triple-double recorded by a Falcons player in his five seasons at the helm, and possibly a first in program history.
The Falcons tip off against Texas A&M-Kingsville on the road Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Kel Wallace 7-9 2-3 16, Eric Wood 4-12 1-1 11, Jashun Petite 2-5 4-6 10, Kennedy Jones 4-9 2-4 10, Quinton Moore 2-8 0-0 4, Andre Roman 1-1 0-0 2, Marvin Hall 1-1 0-0 2, Bryce Morgan 0-5 1-2 1, Joey Gibson 0-1 0-0 0, Zhaire Simmons 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 10-16 56.
UTPB (13-1 overall)
Josh Morris 9-13 5-8 23, Garrett Baggett 5-7 0-0 15, Daeshon Francis 6-8 0-0 12, Trayvond Massenburg 6-6 0-0 12, Sammy Allen 5-16 1-3 11, Amari Bryant 3-5 1-2 10, James McPherson 1-9 2-2 4, Zeldric King 2-6 0-0 4, Jevon Thomas 0-1 3-5 3, John Moscoso 1-2 0-0 3, Renard Thomas 0-2 2-2 2, Andres Villa 0-3 0-2 0, Ethan Bush 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 38-81 14-24 99.
Halftime — UTPB 38, Arlington Baptist 21. 3-Point goals — Arlington Baptist 4-16 (Eric Wood 2-9, Jashun Petite 2-3, Quinton Moore 0-3, Kel Wallace 0-1), UTPB 9-22 (Garrett Baggett 5-6, Amari Bryant 3-5, John Moscoso 1-2, James McPherson 0-5, Sammy Allen 0-1, Renard Thomas 0-1, Andres Villa 0-1, Ethan Bush 0-1). Total fouls — Arlington Baptist 19, UTPB 20. Fouled out — UTPB: Zeldric King. Technical fouls — None. Rebounds — Arlington Baptist 30 (Kennedy Jones 6), UTPB 54 (Sammy Allen 12). Assists — Arlington Baptist 13 (Quinton Moore 3, Jashun Petite 3), UTPB 25 (Sammy Allen 10).