By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---A second half rally by the No. 5 Cuyahoga Community College men's basketball team proved too much for the Owens Community College men's basketball team in a 95-90 loss in the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on Wednesday.
With the loss, Owens had its four game winning streak snapped. They are now 7-4 overall and 0-1 in OCCAC play. Meanwhile, Cuyahoga remains undefeated at 13-0 overall and 2-0 in OCCAC play.
Cuyahoga's Wade Lowman scored five points early as his team led for the game's first six and a half minutes. Shondell Jackson (Warren Harding/Warren, Ohio), who had a game-high 21 points, responded with 12 straight points, and Rico Stafford (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) added a layup as Owens took a 21-13 lead with 10:57 left in the half.
After Cuyahoga's Kaleb Vaughn made a pair of free throws to trim the deficit to six, Marquevious Wilson (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) answered with two free throws of his own to spur a 6-0 run that put Owens up 27-15. The tail end of the run included a Roy Hatchett Jr. (Glenville/Cleveland, Ohio) 3-pointer and a Luke Mayer (Davidson/Hilliard, Ohio) free throw.
Vaughn and Brad Karn combined to convert three straight 3-pointers for Cuyahoga moments later, but Wilson answered with back-to-back 3-pointers for Owens as they led 35-24 with 6:49 left.
Another 3-pointer from Hatchett kept the lead at 10 a minute later, and a 3-pointer from Derrik Jamerson Jr. (Cornerstone/Pontiac, Mich.) made it a nine point margin with just under four minutes left.
The lead then jumped back up to 12 on two occasions down the stretch on a pair of Hatchett free throws and a Jamerson jumper, but Devon Robinson made a pair at the foul line to pull Cuyahoga within 10 at halftime.
Both teams shot very well in the first half as they combined to go 26-for-54 with Owens shooting 50 percent (13-for-26). A solid showing at the foul line (16-for-18) and a large rebounding advantage (20-11) were crucial factors for Owens in taking a 10 point lead at the break.
Cuyahoga's Elmange Watson opened the second half with six of his team's first nine points over the first two minutes, but Jackson and Jamerson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to keep Owens up nine. Robinson then produced four of six points during a 6-0 run that pulled Cuyahoga within three just four minutes into the half.
Three minutes later, Lowman's layup knotted the game at 60 apiece. A free throw from Wilson and a 3-pointer from Jamerson, and another jumper from Jamerson gave Owens a pair of four point leads over the next minute.
Quintin Dove and Waheem Lowman combined to score the next four points for Cuyahoga to tie the game up at 66 apiece with 11 minutes left. Buckets from Hatchett and Jackson then gave Owens a three point lead, and a short time later Stafford and Hatchett teamed up for a 6-2 to give Owens a 76-71 lead.
From there, however, Cuyahoga went on a 10-0 run to seize control as a 3-pointer from Karn with 5:43 left gave them their first lead since the game's opening minutes. The lead stretched to five with five minutes left on a pair of Wade Lowman free throws.
A three point play from Stafford pulled Owens within two, and a fast break dunk from Stafford made it a three point deficit with 2:58 left, but a 5-0 run gave Cuyahoga a 91-83 lead and Owens never got closer than four down the stretch.
Cuyahoga finished the second half 14-for-29 from the field and made 24-for-34 from the foul line in the final 20 minutes to produce 55 points. Meanwhile, Owens fell off a bit and finished 15-for-38 from the field and just 4-for-16 from 3-point range - despite making 6-for-8 from the free throw line.
In the second half, Cuyahoga also held a 26-18 rebounding advantage and forced eight turnovers.
In addition to Jackson's 21 points, Owens was anchored by 15 points apiece from Stafford and Hatchett. Stafford added nine rebounds, and Hatchett had nine assists. Jamerson finished with 13 points and five rebounds, and Wilson added 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench. As a team, Owens finished 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) from the foul line.
Robinson led Cuyahoga with 20 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists. Watson added 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Wade Lowman (17), Karn (14) and Dove (11) also reached double figures.
As a team, Cuyahoga finished 35-for-50 from the foul line. They attempted nearly twice as many free throws as Owens in the game.
Owens will now travel to No. 4 Sinclair Community College (10-0, 1-0 OCCAC) for a 3 p.m. matchup on Saturday.
Owens is now 2-2 in games against top 10 ranked teams this year. In those four games, Jackson is averaging 16.8 points.
Stafford has now reached double figures in scoring in six of the past seven games. He's averaging 13.8 points over the past five games.
Hatchett has now tallied at least six assists in seven straight and 10 of 11 games overall this year. He remains second in the nation in assists per game.