By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- After losses on Monday to Mott and Wednesday to Tri-C, the Express were able to right the ship in their final home games of 2017. On Friday, Owens jumped out to a big league in the first half against Kalamazoo Valley. The Express led 54-19 at the break, shooting 55.6% from the field as a team and an impressive 62.5% from three in the first 20 minutes.
Kalamazoo would come out in the second half and trim the Express lead, scoring the first eight points straight of the second half. Owens would get back on track though as they would go on to a 98-69 win despite being outscore 50-44 in the second half.
Owens was by sophomore Marquevious Wilson in scoring. Wilson finished with 23 points in a very efficient shooting performance. The Lima native finished 8-11 from the floor and 3-5 from three. Wilson also had four rebounds on the night as well. Sophomore Julian Egbo had his best performance of his Owens career, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Egbo was 6-10 from the floor and was big down the stretch for the Express.
Owens would have three other players in double figures in scoring. Freshman DJ Tyree would finish with 13 points. Sophomore Jamiri Bennett and freshman Dru Pettigrew each had 10 point respectively. Bennett led the team in assists as well with seven.
Much like their female counterparts, the Express hit the floor once again on Saturday afternoon to take on Hocking College. Owens struggled in the first half shooting the basketball. The Express were just 12-45 from the floor in the first half and shot just 2-18 from three. Hocking would take full advantage, shooting an even 50% from the floor and 54.5% from beyond the arc. Owens would find themselves on the wrong side of a 44-33 score at halftime.
The second half was a different story. Owens would whittle away at the Hawks lead. The Express would dial up the pressure and force several turnovers in the second half. Owens was able to take the lead with a little over five minutes to play. They would push the lead as high as six after a Jamiri Bennett jumper with 3:25 to play. The two teams would trade baskets until the final stages of the game. Hocking would cut the lead to three points five seconds to play. The Hawks fouled and sent Bennett to free throw line. He would miss the pair, which allowed the Hawks a chance to tie on a three.
Bennett would fouled Hocking's Jose DeLeon from beyond the arc with 0.8 seconds left, sending him to the line for three free throws and the tie. He split the first two free throws, leaving the Hawks nothing but a hope to miss and get a put back to tie the score with no time left. DeLeon missed the third, but Owens's Julian Egbo was able to secure the rebound as the final horn sounded and it gave Owens an 83-81 win.
For the second day in a row, Marquevious Wilson would lead the Express in scoring with 18 points. He was crucial from the free throw line, finishing 7-8 and he had 13 rebounds, which was the team lead. The big men were very clutch in the second half for the Express. Freshman Rylan Davis finished with 13 points on 6-10 shooting from the floor and nine rebounds on the afternoon. Julian Egbo built off of his solid play as of late finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds on the day.
Owens is now back above .500 at 5-4 and are now 1-2 in OCCAC play. The Express will get the week off before traveling to Schoolcraft on Saturday December 9. The Express will be looking to avenge a loss from November 15, when the Ocelots defeated them 97-86.