FLINT, Michigan — Delta College’s head coach finally had enough. Not even midway through the second half on Saturday afternoon, an obviously exasperated Lonnie Griffin firmly tapped on the MRSN broadcast table courtside and aired his grievance to a larger audience than he probably had intended.
“This is why Mott never loses at home,” he exclaimed, after a referee’s call on a loose ball didn’t go the way of his Pioneers.
If it was home cooking he was asserting (a fairly obvious inference), certainly he should have remembered that his team lost to Mott in its own gym by 28 points just one month ago. Also, Mott was actually whistled for four more fouls than Delta and shot eight fewer free throws. Setting those aside, it was a frustrating day to be coaching the Pioneers as no. 2-ranked Mott ran away early and coasted to a 78-47 victory.
(Editor’s note: Mott very rarely loses on the road, either.)
Mott held Delta to a paltry 26 percent shooting in the first half and led by 25-plus points for most of the second. As a team, the Bears shot 48 percent from the field and a spicy 47 percent from 3-point range.
One major bright spot for Mott in an otherwise anticlimactic game was the team’s ability to take care of the ball, something that has been an issue at times this season. The team forced twice as many turnovers (18) as it gave up (9). Mott’s assist-to-turnover ration was better than 2-to-1 in the game, led by freshman point guard Malik Albert and his six assists and only two turnovers.
The Bears (20-1) were led in the scoring column by freshman center Coreontae DeBerry, who poured in 14 points on seven shot attempts. Sophomore Fred Mattison, Mott’s leading scorer, added 11 points and nine rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. Chester McFadden also added 11 points off the bench, including the deepest 3-pointer I’ve seen all season.
Sophomore Kortez Ross, a team captain, turned in a strong performance with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Former Flint Southwestern Academy standout guard Jojo Graham led the Pioneers (7-14) with 12 points.
The Bears, winners of 15 straight games, will have one day to rest before Monday night’s clash on the road versus rival Henry Ford CC. That game tips at 7:30 p.m. on the Michigan Regional Sports Network (MRSN.us).