Fouls Hamper Owens MBB In 96-89 Loss To Columbus State

Derrik Jamerson Jr. (left) and Roy Hatchett Jr. (right) combined for 48 points in today's loss to Columbus State. Photos by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Derrik Jamerson Jr. (left) and Roy Hatchett Jr. (right) combined for 48 points in today's loss to Columbus State. Photos by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Toledo, Ohio---Rodney Willis produced 34 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Columbus State Community College men's basketball team to a 96-89 upset of the Owens Community College men's basketball team this afternoon.

Owens fell to 19-8 overall and 9-4 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play with the loss. They remained in third place in the conference standings and will be back in action on Wednesday at home against Lakeland Community College at 7:30 p.m. Columbus State improved to 10-12 overall and 7-6 in OCCAC play. 

Owens, which entered the game without the services of Ty'Rese Searles (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.) due to illness and James Grays (Start/Toledo, Ohio) due to injury, had to finish the final one minute and 27 seconds of the game with just four players after four players fouled out.

Rico Stafford's (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) second chance layup with 18:30 remaining in the game gave Owens a 45-44 lead, but Columbus State went on a 7-0 run and never trailed again. Marquevious Wilson (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) buried a 3-pointer with 14:10 left to pull Owens within two, but Derek Reece Jr. (Springfield/Toledo, Ohio) became the first player to foul out two minutes later, which helped Columbus State take a seven-point lead.

After the lead fluctuated over the next seven minutes, Wilson's layup with 4:28 left trimmed the deficit to six. Owens then had a chance to pull closer, but a turnover led to a layup and moments later Shondell Jackson (Warren Harding/Warren, Ohio) became the second player to foul out. 

Columbus State's Dylan Geig made both free throws following Jackson's foul, and Willis buried a 3-pointer with three minutes left to give his team an 89-76 lead.

Derrik Jamerson Jr. (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.) answered with a 3-pointer on the other end, but Mason Durden (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) fouled out on the ensuing possession, which resulted in a three-point-play for Columbus State's Mario Young, and the lead was at 13 again.

Owens attempted to rally, and Stafford slammed home a dunk to pull Owens within seven with 1:42 left, but Stafford fouled out on the next possession. Willis made both free throws to essentially seal the game as Owens had to play with four the rest of the way.

Earlier in the game, Owens scored the game's first eight points and held a 14-4 lead following back-to-back 3-pointers from Wilson and Jamerson. Jackson made another 3-pointer for Owens with 13:30 left to keep his team ahead by eight, but Columbus State went on an 8-0 run and eventually took a 42-41 lead at halftime.

Outside of the 34 points from Willis, Young added 22 points, five rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks for Columbus State. Matthew Gierhart chipped in 17 points. As a team, Columbus State finished 27-for-31 from the foul line - compared to 13-for-15 from Owens.

For Owens, Jamerson finished with a team-high 27 points, along with nine rebounds and two blocks. Roy Hatchett Jr. (Glenville/Cleveland, Ohio), who tied the program's single game free throw percentage record by finishing 10-for-10, added 21 points and a game-high 11 assists. Wilson finished third in scoring with 17 points, along with eight rebounds, while Stafford and Jackson each had 10 points.


Today's loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Owens, which entered the game having won 10 of its past 12. 

Hatchett, who picked up his ninth game with at least 10 assists today, also produced his sixth double-double this year in points and assists.

Jamerson, who finished 5-for-9 from 3-point range today, now needs to make eight more 3-pointers to break the program's single season record currently held by Jeff Massey (112, 1991-92). On top of that, he has now reached 895 career points as he has a chance to become the first player to reach 1,000 points since John Murry scored 1,107 points from 2013-15.

Owens remains one win away from its fifth 20-win season over the past six years. It would also mark the 29th such season in program history.

Columbus State was called for 17 fouls in the game compared to 25 for Owens. Each team played eight players, and only two players had more than two fouls for Columbus State. Meanwhile, Owens had two starters and two bench players foul out. Wilson was the only player from Owens to not have a foul.