By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Nelsonville, Ohio---The Owens Community College men's basketball team opened up a 28-point lead in the first half and withstood a strong second half rally from Hocking College to pick up an 88-72 win on the road today.
The game, which marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams, saw Owens improve to 10-5 this year. They will be back in action on Wednesday at home against Lorain County Community College at 7:30 p.m.
In that first half, Owens finished 19-for-35 from the field and made 7-for-16 from 3-point range. They assisted on 17 of the 19 field goals and outscored Hocking 20-8 in the paint and 20-3 in bench points in the first 20 minutes.
Defensively, Owens held Hocking to a 5-for-32 finish from the field in the half, including a 1-for-10 performance from the 3-point line. On top of that, they held a 28-19 advantage on the glass, led by nine rebounds from Derrik Jamerson Jr. (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.).
Jamiri Bennett (Maumee/Toledo, Ohio), who made his first start of the season, opened the game with a 3-pointer. He followed with an assist on a 3-pointer from Roy Hatchett Jr. (Glenville/Cleveland, Ohio) before Derek Reece Jr. (Springfield/Toledo, Ohio) hit a mid-range jumper to give Owens an 8-0 lead through two minutes.
Shondell Jackson (Warren Harding/Warren, Ohio) made a layup a little under two minutes later for a 10-0 lead as Owens didn't allow a point until Bryce Mooring's 3-point play with 15:23 left in the half.
Following that, Owens scored the game's next 13 points. The run was capped by a pair of layups from Rico Stafford (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) and included 3-pointers from Jamerson and Ty'Rese Searles (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.). Marquevious Wilson (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) also hit a layup, and Jackson hit a free throw as Owens led 23-3 through the game's first 8:35.
Jamerson hit another 3-pointer two minutes later to give Owens a 32-7 lead. Then, following a 3-pointer from D'Andre Clay that pulled his team within 22, Owens scored the next six points and led 38-10 with four minutes left. Reece hit a pair of layups during the run.
Owens led by as many as 30 late in the half before a pair of late free throws from Hocking.
In the second half, things changed in a big way as Hocking scored 54 points. They shot 14-for-23 from inside the 3-point line and made six of its seven 3-pointers in the half. For Owens, the offense went stagnant and finished just 15-for-42 from the field, including a 3-for-12 performance from 3-point range, over the final 20 minutes.
Up 50-20, a trio of 3-pointers for Hocking not only pulled them within 23, but it started to give them the confidence they didn't have in the first half.
Following a free throw from James Grays (Start/Toledo, Ohio) that put Owens up 63-41, Hocking scored seven straight and 11 of the next 13 points to trim its deficit to just 13. It was down to 12 with just over seven minutes left before Owens scored five straight, and Hocking wasn't able to get closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Five players scored in double figures for Owens, led by Hatchett's 15 points and 10 assists. Jamerson added 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Stafford (14), Jackson (12) and Wilson (11) rounded out the group of five. Wilson, Reece and Stafford each chipped in eight rebounds, Searles added eight assists and Wilson had four steals.
Hocking also had five players reach double figures, led by 18 from Mooring, who also had a team-high nine rebounds. James Young (13), Keiron Morning (13), Darnei Hairston (13) and Clay (10) also reached double figures.
The two teams will meet again on Feb. 4 at Owens.
Jamerson finished 4-for-7 from 3-point range today, and he is now 19 made 3-point field goals and 35 attempted 3-point field goals from breaking each of those respective career records. He has made at least one 3-point field goal in every game played in his career, and he has now scored in double figures in his past 20 games dating back to last year. He is 37 points away from 700 in his career.
Furthermore, Jamerson picked up his third double double of the season today, and it was the eighth of his career. It was the 10th double digit rebounding game in his career.
Not only did Bennett make his first start of the season, but he also produced a season-high six rebounds and played a season-high 17 minutes.
Reece picked up his sixth game with at least five rebounds today. He finished with eight for the second time this year, which is just two off tying his season-high.
Hatchett's 15 points was just one shy of tying his season-high. It was the third time this year he has scored at least 15 points, and he recorded his eighth straight game with at least seven assists. He has at least nine assists in each of his past four games, and he now has four double digit assist games this year. Furthermore, he remains the nation's second best assist producer per game.
Jackson has now scored in double figures in five straight games. He is averaging 15 points during that stretch. He also finished just one rebound shy of tying his season-high in that category today, as well.
The eight assists from Searles tied his season-high that was set on Nov. 12 against Washtenaw. He is now just three points away from 500 in his career.
Wilson reached double figures in points for the fifth time in the past seven games. He finished four points shy of tying his season-high, which he set twice already this year. He did record a new season-high in rebounds today with eight. In fact, he has five, six and eight rebounds in his past three games, which set new season-highs in each game.
Stafford scored in double figures for the seventh time in nine games. He is now averaging 11.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this year. Today was the fourth time he shot at least 70 percent from the field this year.
The five points from Grays increased his season-high by one in just his second game of the season.