FLINT, Michigan — It didn’t take long for no. 5-ranked Mott to assert its will over Schoolcraft College on Saturday afternoon in Flint. Mott, led by sophomore guard Devin Foster, improved its record to 22-5 in dominant fashion, 115-67.
Just four minutes into the game, a barrage of buckets had buried the Ocelets under a 17-2 run. Mott sophomore Malik Albert had 11 points in just over six minutes.
A rare 3-pointer from Mott’s 6-5 freshman Ruston Hayward put the Bears up 29-10 with 12 minutes left in the first half. A dunk in transition by Albert led to a second timeout by Schoolcraft. The Bears kept up the pressure defensively and turned a few more giveaways into points, including a hammer dunk by Hayward to put the Bears up 39-13 midway through the half.
Two straight baskets, including a tip-dunk, by sophomore Jamal Reynolds, put Mott up 47-19 with seven minutes left in the half. Two straight 3-pointers from freshman guard Marcus Johnson cranked it up to 32. Johnson poured in 13 of his 20 points in the first half.
Mott head coach Steve Schmidt played every man on the roster in the half, and led 67-32 after the first 20 minutes.
The 67-point half was Mott’s best this season. The Bears shot 64 percent in the first half, made their first two shot attempts in the second.
“We scored a lot of points, but I like how hard we played defensively,” Schmidt said. “We scored a lot off steals and played unselfishly. I think we’re making a statement going into March.”
The Bears slowed the game down in the second half, hit the century mark with five minutes left and cruised to victory, 115-67.
Terrence Coles led all scorers with 27 points for Schoolcraft (13-13).
Amazingly, the Bears had four players finish with 20 points — Albert, Johnson, Reynolds and Foster. Schmidt said Foster’s performance was particularly impressive, adding 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals to his 20 points.
“That’s the best he’s played in two years,” Schmidt said. “He came out on fire and with a lot of energy.”
Reynolds added 12 rebounds and Albert eight assists.
This game felt a lot more like Mott circa 2006, an era during which the Bears routinely demoralized teams by 40-50 points. Their performance today bodes well for the postseason, as the Bears have but two games left before the district tournament at Delta College in Bay City next week.
Schmidt, ever the realist, said he’s keeping things in proper perspective as his team closes out the regular season.
“With this group, I’m not going to get too excited,” he said. “We’ve taken some steps forward only to take some back.”
The Bears return to action on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. on the road against Alpena. Listen to Mott live online at MRSN.us.