By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- Trailing by seven at halftime, sophomore Marquevious Wilson carried the Owens offensive load for early parts of the second half on his way to a 25 point effort in a 91-73 win for the Express over Sinclair
In the first half, the Express found themselves in foul trouble. Owens finished the first twenty minutes with 14 team fouls and five players with two fouls heading to the locker room. That caused Owens head coach Dennis Springs to dig deep into his bench in order to finish the half, and they delivered. Davion Baker hit a big three late in the first half to help the Express stay within striking distance of the Tartan Pride. The Express shot just 38.9% from the floor in the first half, and the 12 free throw disparity placed the Express in a seven point hole at the break.
Wilson came out of the locker room on fire though. The Lima native had just 10 points at the break, but he became the offensive focal point early in the second half. Wilson used an inside-outside attack that left Sinclair defenders on their heels, trying to figure out how to slow him down. He would finish 9-11 from the floor and a scorching 4-6 from beyond the arc. He also added five assists and two steals in the game.
Gabe Simpson would help his fellow guard close out the game. Simpson, who battled foul trouble all night, used his defensive prowess to create some fast break opportunities that helped turn a single point lead into a double digit one. The freshman was 10-13 shooting, which was good enough for 21 points. He also finished with five rebounds and three steals.
Julian Egbo and Justin Sylver were a force on the block for Owens as well. Egbo was very efficient scoring, finishing 5-6 from the field for 14 points. He also had a triple on the evening as well. Egbo finished with seven rebounds as well. Sylver wasn't dominant in the scoring column, but he was on the glass. The sophomore finished with 13 rebounds. He also had four assists too in 25 minutes of play.
For the game, the Express shot 51.5% from the floor for the game and an unbelievable 66.7% in the second half. They had the edge in scoring in the paint at 40-30 over Sinclair and the fast break was huge for Owens. They held a 23-4 edge in fast break points over the Tartan Pride as well.
Owens has now won eight games in a row and their record sits at 15-7 overall and 9-2 in the OCCAC. They are now all alone in second place with a half game lead on Lorain County, and the Express are a half game behind Cuyahoga in the conference standings. Sinclair falls .500 at 12-12 and they are 3-8 in the OCCAC.
The Express will be in action again in conference play on the road at Hocking College on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM. Owens won the first matchup at home back on December 2nd when they won 83-81. Hocking is 12-11 overall and 3-7 in the OCCAC.