Mott Community College ran its conference-best winning streak to an even dozen on Wednesday night, outlasting a pesky Kirtland (7-7) squad, 72-61.
Mott (17-1) needed a buzzer-beater in the lane at the end of the first half from sophomore Fred Mattison to take a one-point lead into the break. The Bears were all business in the second half, led by freshman guard Malik Albert who scored 12 of his 16 points in the half. Mattison scored 12 points in the first half and finished with 20.
After the game, Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN’s Bill Schnorenberg he was impressed by Kirtland’s effort and embarrassed by his team’s lack of intensity.
“We didn’t come ready to play tonight, and I’m not happy with it,” Schmidt said. “I feel lucky to win right now … that was one of our worst efforts.”
Last season, Mott just barely got by Kirtland on the road in overtime. That team ended up going 35-1 en route to a national championship. The team improved to 7-0 in conference, with a couple dangerous road games against Wayne and Oakland looming on the horizon.
“It’s hard for me to be negative, but I didn’t like the body language or the effort,” he said. “Still, it’s a win on the road.”
Mott’s 6-foot-9 freshman Coreontae DeBerry added 12 points, a positive sign for a talented player who has shown flashes of dominance.
Schmidt and the Bears will be back in action at 3 p.m. on Saturday at home versus Schoolcraft.
“You’ll see a different team on Saturday, I can promise you that.” he said.