Lake Region State College three barrage in the second half propels them over Northeast Community College 90-69.

The ultimate Robert McCall in basketball — the three-point shot. And when Lake Region State College found it, LRSC turned a close game into a runaway.

The Royals made 18 threes, 11 in the second half as they defeated Northeast Community College 90-69 Friday in the opening night of the Holiday Inn Express Classic from the Sports Center.

“They sat in that zone and we’re a really good shooting team and a lot of guys got a lot of 3s but we just found the right guys at the right time and made them when they counted,” said Royals head coach Jared Marshall. “We just got hot. They sat in that zone and we waited for them to come out of it and they didn’t.

“So we just made them pay.” 

Four players made two or more three pointers for the Royals, including both TJ Mickelson and Jordan Lynn who each were 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. It was Mickelson’s back-to-back threes five minutes into the second half that gave the Royals their first lead of the game, at 48-45 and then at 51-45. It was a lead that eventually exploded to 24.

It was a crucial six minute span for a Royals team that trailed by 12 with seven minutes left in the first half.

“I was really disappointed in our defensive effort (in the first half). We made a few tweaks, we changed up who was 

guarding who and I challenged them that if you hold them to 30 points, if we keep them in the 70s, I promise you we’re gonna win this game,” Marshall said.

The Hawks, who shot 54.5 percent in the first half and scored 43 points, were held to just 33.3 percent shooting over the second 20 minutes and 26 second half points.

“They responded. … That’s what we talked about at the half,” Marshall said.

Lamarr Wood finished with a game-high 23 points. He also had eight rebounds for the Royals who has won five straight after losing their opener on Nov. 1. Mickelson and Lynn scored 15 points apiece with Lynn three assists shy of a triple-double, with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Mickelson had 10 assists. 

Jayden Komrosky scored 12 points, all by way of the three.

Northeast (4-3) was led by Seth Coatta’s 21 points. He also had seven rebounds.

With Northeast up three with 9:18 remaining in the first half, the Hawks went on a 10-1 run, capped off by a Daniel Akuei layup that made the score 30-18. Up 10 with 6:12 left before halftime, the Hawks’ advantage was cut all the way down to three after Wood completed a dunk 3-point play with 2:20 left.

The Hawks went into the locker room leading 43-40.