After going into the second half with a three-point lead against the Westmoreland Community College Wolfpack men’s basketball team, the Lorain County Community College men’s basketball team outscored them by 22 points to stay undefeated (6-0) in the 104-79 victory.
LCCC started the game with a 9-0 run against Westmoreland, but after a timeout called by the Wolfpack, LCCC conceded eight straight points to almost tie the score and made the score tight throughout the rest of the first half.
“Too many turnovers in the first half,” said Marty Eggleston, head coach of the Commodores. “We threw the ball away. We knew this team is lights out shooters and we didn’t get out enough to get hands up.”
LCCC started to pull away later in the half, but would almost blow the lead again in the closing minutes. They led by as much as eight points in the closing minutes of the first half.
The Commodores committed 12 turnovers in the first half against the Wolfpack that hunts for 8.9 steals per game, but they were able to get only two in the first half.
Westmoreland made seven of their 14 3-pointers and were able to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line, shooting 18 shots and making 16 of them in the first half..
“We had a couple of guys with four fouls tonight. We teach our team to be aggressive,” coach Eggleston said. “We teach them to play solid team defense and the thing is that no one was moving their feet so guys would drive by; we swiping. When guys drive by, we’re throwing our hip, instead of sliding to get in front of they guy so that is just mental errors.”
Commodores’ Daniel Lott, Jovon Jones, Zach Swain, and Justis Craig finished the game with four fouls.
At one point of the game, LCCC’s Thomas Hronis was called for a blocking foul on Westmoreland’s Kyle Carrington. Some people in the home crowd did not like the call and collectively booed him and Eggleston waved them off.
“We don’t want to have that type of bad reputation,” coach Eggleston said about the crowd’s reaction on the call. “We are not that type of place. Fans get emotional throughout the course of the game. Referees are human too and they make mistakes and it works itself out.”
In the second half, Craig from LCCC was placed in the game after only logging in three minutes in the first half and recorded seven steals in the second half to help spark the Commodores.
“We put Justis Craig out there on the point and they had a hard time getting the ball pass him at half-court, said Eggleston. He changed the energy.”
“We finally got a rhythm and when we got that rhythm we got back into the way we play the game’ he said.
The Commodores also improved on their field goal percentage from 38.6 percent from the first half to 49 percent in the second half.
LCCC’s leading scorers were Montez Day with 19 points, Craig and reigning OCCAC Player of the Week Jake Schultz with 14 points. All of these players came off the bench to help combine for the 67 bench points.
“We had to realize that we’re better than this team and we have to play to a better potential if we want to keep our winning-streak alive,” said Commodores’ guard Craig.
The Commodores would win their next two games on the road at Lakeland Community College 101-90 and in their closest game they had all year at Edison Community College 97-94. They are now 8-0 and will continue to pursue their quest of perfection against the 1-5 Community College of Allegheny College at Boyce. They faced this team before in the first game of the 2016-17 season and won 95-84. The only difference will be that the Commodores will be at home this time.