Baker, Groves Lead No. 19 Owens To 81-67 Road Win Over Cuyahoga

Justin Baker checks out the Cuyahoga defense in last night's 81-67 win. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Justin Baker checks out the Cuyahoga defense in last night's 81-67 win. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Cleveland, Ohio---Darren Groves (Thurgood Marshall/Dayton, Ohio) exploded for 25 points off the bench, while the No. 19 Owens Community College men's basketball team posted a solid defensive effort in an 81-67 win over Cuyahoga Community College on the road last night.

In the first half, the teams battled back and forth as neither led by more than four over the game's first 12 minutes. Then, with just under eight minutes left, Shaakir Lindsey (Teaneck/Teaneck, N.J.) hit a 3-pointer to give Owens a 27-25 lead.

Lindsey's shot was followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Groves as Owens pushed its lead to eight with 4:41 left. A dunk by Groves later gave Owens its largest lead of the half (9) with 2:01 left before they took an eight point lead into the break.

After a first half that saw four ties and four lead changes, Cuyahoga kept the game within striking distance for the first nine minutes of the second half.

Then, with Owens up six and 11:36 left, Owens went on a 13-0 run started by Austin Somerfield (Greenville/Greenville, Mich.) hitting one of two at the foul line. That was followed by a 3-pointer from Justin Baker (Cathedral/Indianapolis, Ind.), a layup from Kenny Jones (Clay/South Bend, Ind.), a dunk by Groves, another layup from Jones and a 3-point play from Groves. 

During the 13-0 run, Cuyahoga shot 0-for-5 from the field with two turnovers, while Owens shot 5-for-6 from the field with two big blocks by Groves and Somerfield. 

Following that, Owens led by as many as 20 and as few as 14 to bounce back from a tough loss on Saturday.

Along with his 25 points, Groves added a team-high 11 rebounds (five offensive) and one block. Baker tied his season-high in scoring with 16, while adding four assists, two rebounds and one steal. The final player in double figures was Jones, who added 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and a career-high six blocks. 

The trio of Groves, Baker and Jones combined to shoot 20-for-33 from the field, including an 8-for-12 finish from long range. They had 55 of the team's 81 points.

Lindsey and Somerfield each added nine points for Owens, while Lindsey, Baker and John Murry (North Central/Indianapolis, Ind.) each tied for a team-high in assists with four apiece. Somerfield added three blocks as Owens blocked a season-high 10 shots.

Cuyahoga's Robert Fomby led all players with 29 points and 14 rebounds, while Cairo Brown added 12 points and Marquis Jackson had 10. Davonte McIntyre also had 10 rebounds.

With the win, Owens improved to 18-6 overall and 6-2 in OCCAC play. They also completed a regular season sweep of Cuyahoga, which fell to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in OCCAC play.

Moreover, Owens finished 3-2 on their tough five game road trip and will return home for five of their final six regular season games beginning with Sinclair Community College at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the SHAC.


Last night was only the first time of Murry's career in which he did not make at least one field goal.

Groves, who missed the team's past two games, has averaged 13 rebounds in his past two games.