By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Derrik Jamerson Jr.(Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.) made a corner 3-pointer with 1:36 left to propel the Owens Community College men's basketball team to an 84-80 win over No. 20 Cincinnati State Technical and Community College this afternoon.
With the win, Owens (22-8, 12-4 OCCAC) spoiled Cincinnati State's chance at an outright Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship, which it instead has to split with Cuyahoga Community College. Cincinnati State (23-7, 14-2 OCCAC) still owns the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region XII District 11 tournament, though.
Owens, which finished third in the conference standings, will open postseason play on Tuesday at home against Clark State Community College at 7 p.m. The winner advances to face Cuyahoga (27-2, 14-2 OCCAC) in a semifinal on Friday at 8 p.m.
After Cincinnati State's Lindsey Hunter scored on a layup with just under two minutes left to give his team an 80-79 lead, Jamerson took a pass from Shondell Jackson (Warren Harding/Warren, Ohio) and buried his lone 3-pointer with 1:36 left to give Owens the lead for good.
Following that, Owens forced back-to-back turnovers, but also missed two chances to stretch its lead. Following a timeout, Cincinnati State's Dante Battle missed a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left as his team came up empty for the third straight possession.
Jackson pulled down the rebound and dished it to Mason Durden (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio), who was fouled. Durden made 1-for-2 at the foul line with 11.6 seconds left to give Owens a three-point lead.
Cincinnati State had one more chance to tie the game, but Anthony Coleman missed a 3-pointer, and Rico Stafford (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) grabbed the rebound and dished to Roy Hatchett Jr. (Glenville/Cleveland, Ohio), who was fouled and made 1-for-2 at the foul line with 0.4 seconds left to seal the game.
Jackson led all Owens players with 15 points. He finished 6-for-8 from the field, including two big 3-pointers in the second half. Durden tied his season-high with 13 points. He also chipped in five rebounds off the bench and tied Jamerson for the team-high in offensive rebounds with three.
Stafford (12), Jamerson (10) and Hatchett (10) also reached double figures in scoring, while Marquevious Wilson (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio), James Grays (Start/Toledo, Ohio) and Ty'Rese Searles (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.) each chipped in eight points.
Hatchett led all players with seven assists and three steals, while Jamerson had a team-high eight rebounds.
Hunter had 28 points for Cincinnati State to lead all players. He was instrumental for the Surge down the stretch with 18 of his 28 in the second half. He also had 15 of the final 20 points for his team. Battle added 17 points, while Coleman had 12 and Marlon Kordrostami had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Prior to all the dramatics, Kordrostami's dunk gave Cincinnati State a 17-6 lead just over five minutes into the game. A 3-pointer from Durden pulled Owens within seven five minutes later, but a quick 7-0 run for Cincinnati State doubled the deficit.
Back-to-back layups from Jamerson and Wilson trimmed the deficit to eight with 4:21 left in the half, but Cincinnati State took a 12-point lead into halftime despite a late layup from Durden.
Owens then opened the second half on an 8-0 run behind a 3-pointer from Wilson, a layup from Jamerson and a three-point-play from Jackson. Cincinnati State pushed its lead back up to seven on a jumper from Battle with 14:22 left, but Wilson answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to spur another 8-0 run to give Owens a 57-55 lead with 11:42 left.
Hatchett hit a pair of free throws and Stafford made a layup to give Owens two more leads moments later, but Hunter hit back-to-back layups to tie it up with 7:29 left.
A 7-1 run, though, spurred by a 3-pointer from Jackson and capped by two free throws from Searles, gave Owens a 71-65 lead with 6:20 left. After Hunter hit a layup, Hatchett hit a 3-pointer to give Owens a seven-point lead - its largest of the game - with 5:54 left.
Behind five more points from Hunter, Cincinnati State answered with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 74 apiece. Jackson made his second 3-pointer of the half to give Owens the lead, and a dunk from Stafford put Owens up 79-76 with 3:32 left.
A dunk from Kordrostami and Hunter's layup then gave Owens up 80-79 to set up the final two minutes.
Hunter's 28 points came in just 23 minutes off the bench.
Cincinnati State had won 18 of its past 19 games enter today's game. They defeated No. 5 Cuyahoga twice during the regular season, which helped them secure the No. 1 seed in the district tournament despite having to share the regular season title.
Owens has now won five of its past six games against Cincinnati State.
Jamerson's 10 points gives him 942 career points, and he is now 33 attempted 3-pointers away from the single season record.
Cincinnati State's Battle, who entered the game among the nation's top five in five offensive categories, was held to a 3-13 performance from 3-point range.
Owens has now won 13 of its past 16 games.