University High looked in midseason form Thursday night in its 53-22 boys basketball victory over host Christian Life Academy.

The defending Class 3A state champions return four starters. Hot shooting University surged to a 29-6 halftime lead in a 10-minute half format.

Wayde Sims led the Cubs with 18 points, nine in each half. Jalen Johnson added 13 points. Both are 6-foot-6 juniors.

The other returning starters are 6-3 junior Skylar Mays (six assists) and 6-7 senior Maxwell Starwood (seven points).

University’s new starter is 6-3 junior guard Marshall Graves, who hit two 3-pointers. Graves is a transfer from Hammond.

The Cubs hit six 3-pointers. Johnson hit two 3-pointers. Sims and John Jones also hit 3-pointers.

“We were ready to play,” University coach Joe Spencer said. “We had a size advantage, and we were really shooting the ball well. The returning guys have gotten bigger and stronger. Skylar Mays is two inches taller.”

Forbes said he wants to build depth and use his bench more this season.

“We’ve got a lot of kids who can play,” he said. “Hopefully we can play nine to 10 people comfortably. We’ll need that down the line.”

Christian Life lost three seniors who accounted for 90 percent of its points last season. The Crusaders have a number of ballhandlers but limited size.

Ludovic Kader, a 5-11 junior transfer, led the Crusaders with 11 points, includig nine points in the second half. Mitch Wilkerson, a 6-0 junior, added six points.

“Playing University was an opportunity to measure where we’re at to get ready for our season,” CLA second-year coach Stephen Dale said. “University really knows how to play together, and they can really shoot.

“We’re very young on experience. We’re hoping to get better every day. We’ll play a style that spreads the ball out and penetrate from there.”

Dale said his team is working on sorting roles.

“We hope to be a deep team,” he said. “We have some good ballhandlers. There are opportunities to claim a spot in our rotation.”

The game’s most spectacular play came in the second half on a Starwood dunk off a nice lob from Jones. That put the Cubs up 40-15.

University opens its regular season Monday by hosting Tara.