By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Dayton, OH---James Kelly held his own personal dunk contest as he led the Express men's basketball team to a 98-73 road win over Sinclair Community College today.
The sophomore threw down seven dunks on his way to totals of 30 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He finished 14-for-23 from the field.
He entered the game needing just seven points to reach 1,000 for his career. After hitting a jumper, a lay-up and throwing down his first dunk to give the Express a 6-0 lead just three minutes into the game, Kelly was on the brink of history.
Then, with 15:21 left in the half, Kelly completed an alley-oop dunk from Markese Allen to give him 1,001 career points. It gave the Express a 12-3 lead at the time.
He would add three more dunks in the first half while totaling 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block in the half alone.
As a team, the Express took their largest lead of the half, 20 points, into the break as they led 49-29.
Kelly picked back up where he left off, scoring six of his team's first nine points of the second half - including his sixth dunk. He ended his night with back-to-back baskets - including the capper - his seventh dunk of the game for his 29th and 30th points.
Sinclair got within 10 in the second half, at 65-55, with 12:35 left, but that was as close as they would get. The Express held their largest lead of the game, 27, at 92-65 with 3:56 left.
Franklin Lindsey added 15 points and eight rebounds (four offensive) for the Express, while Tony Boykins had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists. Jay Marquette was the fourth player in double figures with 10 points, while adding six rebounds.
Sinclair was led by Drew Moore, who had 27 points. He struggled from the field (6-for-19), but made 11-for-13 from the foul line. Trace Cureton added 11, while Charlie Byers had 10 points.
The Express shot 48.1 percent compared to 34.8 percent for Sinclair from the field. They outrebounded the Tartan Pride 53-38 and turned the ball over only 12 times.
Kelly recorded his eighth straight double-double to open the OCCAC season. He now has 1,027 career points, 574 career rebounds and 93 blocks.
Those totals put him 24 rebounds away from breaking the program's career rebounding record held by Brian Williams (1985-87) and seven blocks away from breaking the career block record and becoming the first player in program history to record 100 career blocks. Rodney Hughes holds the current block record with 99.
Heading into today's game, Kelly was averaging 17.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in his career. He could become the first Express men's basketball player to ever record 1,000 career points, 600 career rebounds and 100 career blocks.
Joe Retic dished out his 100th assist in the team's last game. Today, he tied Allen for the team-high in assists with 10.
As a team, the Express have now won four straight and nine of their last 10. The lone loss in that stretch was against Lakeland, who are the next opponent for the Express on Wednesday in Kirtland, OH at 7:30 p.m.
The game will have a large say in who wins the OCCAC championship. The Express are 7-1 and alone in second place, while Lakeland is undefeated at 8-0. Lakeland could seal a title, while the Express are looking to keeps their hopes alive.
Overall, the Express are now 18-7 overall. Head coach Dave Clarke is now two wins away from posting back-to-back seasons of 20 or more wins to open his head coaching career.