Archive for the ‘College’ Category

No. 5-ranked Mott crushes Schoolcraft College, 115-67

Posted: February 22, 2014 by Jared Field in College, JUCO, Mott
Mott sophomore Devin Foster scored 20 points with 10 assists in a blowout win over Schoolcraft Saturday.

Mott sophomore Devin Foster scored 20 points with 10 assists in a blowout win over Schoolcraft Saturday. (Gerry Leslie photo)

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.

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NJCAA

NJCAA | 2014

Mott sophomore Malik Albert.

Mott sophomore Malik Albert.

Malik Albert has done just about everything that Mott’s Mount Rushmore of players have done, save for one: and it’s the one that matters most to his coach.

“We’ve had players before win national awards, players like Kevin Tiggs, Jeremie Simmons and (most recently) John Taylor,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt after Albert was named the NJCAA’s National Player of the Week on Thursday. “Those guys have something that Malik doesn’t — a national championship ring. I’ve said that before. It’s not a knock on Malik, but it’s a true statement.”

Fortunately, Albert’s career is not yet over.

Schmidt said he was getting a little impatient, having nominated his star player for the award several times this season. His lead assistant, Carl Jones, joked that he should probably should have taken the hint.

“There was no way I was giving up,” Schmidt said, whose no. 5-ranked Bears are 21-5 this season. “Some people may think that I don’t go to bat for my players, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I do more fighting for my players than most people would ever realize. Not only is this a great, well-deserved accomplishment for Malik, it’s also great for the team.”

Albert earned the honor not just for an excellent performance in a win over no. 8-ranked Oakland on Saturday, but for his body of work this season. The sophomore is averaging 25 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game through 26 games.

He is the focal point of Mott’s offense; when opposing coaches scheme to stop one player, he is that one player. They haven’t had much success.

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Mott freshman Lorenzo Collier turned in his best performance of the season on Saturday, scoring 20 points in a win over Oakland.

Mott freshman Lorenzo Collier turned in his best performance of the season on Saturday, scoring 20 points in a win over Oakland.

FLINT, Michigan — Mott will still need some help to get back in the MCCAA state championship game next month, but the Bears may well be the best team in the east regardless.

Mott made amends for its double overtime loss to Oakland CC last month with a statement win on Saturday afternoon at home, 96-85. Just last Saturday, Mott dominated Wayne County (currently tied for first place in the east) by 16 points.

No. 4-ranked Oakland (21-3) came into the game winners of four straight and tied for first in the MCCAA Eastern Conference. Mott (20-5) entered the game smarting from a 3-point loss on the road at St. Clair Wednesday night. The Bears desperately needed a win, and not just any win; Mott needed remind to remind folks that it’s still the most powerful JUCO program in Michigan.

In spite of all the ups and downs this season, the Bears lived up to the reputation in a big way.

Sparked by sophomore Malik Albert, Mott led by 10 midway through the first half. OCC cut the deficit to two points before freshman guard Lorenzo Collier scored five points in 20 seconds to push Mott’s lead back to nine points.

The Bears led by 11 points at the end of a forgettable half for OCC. The Raiders failed to record a single assist in the half (only two for the game). The Bears had 11 team assists and were buoyed by Albert’s 10-for-11 from the charity stripe.

This game marked Collier’s best performance of the season. He finished with 20 points in 29 minutes and hit a couple momentum-changing baskets in the second half.

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Mott sophomore Devin Foster scored 14 points on seven shots with five assists in a win over Wayne on Saturday in Flint.

Mott sophomore Devin Foster scored 14 points on seven shots with five assists in a win over Wayne on Saturday in Flint.

FLINT, Michigan — Saturday’s game versus no. 8-ranked Wayne was, if there is such a thing in early February, a must-win. This one had been circled on the schedule ever since the Bears’ second half collapse cost them a win over Wayne in Detroit last month.

This time around, a healthy Mott squad put the hurt on the Wildcats, 74-58; and, in truth, it wasn’t that close.

Mott (18-4) dominated this game on the defensive end from start to finish. The Bears held Wayne to only two field goals in the first eight minutes and forced 30 turnovers in the game. Wayne only managed 21 points in the first half and trailed by 13 at the break. The Bears led by as many as 23 in the second half and didn’t let off the gas until the final three minutes.

The difference between these two top-end MCCAA teams is pretty simple: guard play. Mott has it; Wayne doesn’t. Mott’s three-headed monster in the backcourt (Malik Albert, Marcus Johnson and Devin Foster), combined for 40 points with only five turnovers. Foster played a great all-around game, showing off his tremendous transition passing ability.

Longtime Mott assistant Carl Jones told Foster after the game that Saturday’s performance is something he can replicate every game. He has the ability.

Mott shot 54 percent from the field as a team and tallied 20 total steals, a season high.

Wayne (16-3) will remain tied for first in the Eastern Conference with Oakland. Mott will have the opportunity to avenge its only other conference loss on Saturday against Oakland. The Raiders beat Mott in a triple overtime thriller last month in Auburn Hills.

With Wayne still having a road game versus Oakland on the schedule, there could be a logjam atop the Eastern Conference at season’s end.

Shaun Duncan led all scorers with 16 points for Wayne.

Mott freshman Ruston Hayward added 10 points and four rebounds despite losing the bulk of the first half to foul trouble. Hayward sat out the first game against Wayne due to a knee injury.

The Bears will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night on the road versus St. Clair.

Mott freshman Ruston Hayward scored 24 points with six assists, five steals and four rebounds against Macomb on Thursday night. Two of his 24 came on this nasty dunk in traffic. (Photo by Gerry Leslie)

Mott freshman Ruston Hayward scored 24 points with six assists, five steals and four rebounds against Macomb on Thursday night. Two of his 24 came on this nasty dunk in traffic. (Photo by Gerry Leslie)

The No. 4-ranked Mott Community College Bears entered Thursday night’s game against Macomb (9-14) as close to full strength as they’ve been in the last couple months. With the exception of reserve forward Chester McFadden, who sat out nursing an ankle injury, head coach Steve Schmidt was fully staffed.

After struggling through the first half, the Bears turned a two-point halftime deficit into a double-digit lead midway through the second half. Mott (18-4) cruised to an 88-64 win and now turns its attention to Saturday’s showdown against No. 8-ranked Wayne (16-2).

Thursday night’s game featured an outstanding performance by freshman Ruston Hayward, including a dunk in the second half that hopefully finds its way to YouTube. Hayward scored 24 points with six assists, five steals and four rebounds.

Sophomore Malik Albert scored 20 points with five assists and four steals. Freshman Marcus Johnson added 13 points and five assists.

Mott may be without the services of sophomore Myles Busby on Saturday after he injured his ankle against Macomb. Fortunately, the Bears will have Hayward this time around.

“We didn’t have him last time, so getting him healthy is a big deal,” Schmidt said of Hayward. “It’s tough to win on the road in this conference, especially against the top teams. We are trying to defend our conference championship, and we have that opportunity ahead of us.”

Schmidt said his team is finally starting to come together after a season marked with inconsistency on and off the court.

“We’ve dealt with injuries, some poor decisions, but we have the team back together,” he said. “No more distractions. Saturday we’ll find out where we’re at. We’ll be ready.”

Truth be told, the Bears have two Saturday matinee measuring sticks this month. Wayne this Saturday and Oakland the following Saturday, both games at home. The Bears will, more than likely, need to win both to have a chance to defend their conference title.

Listen to Saturday’s game live on MRSN.us starting at 3 p.m.

Mott has had some tussles over the years on the road against Delta College (8-12). It’s rarely been easy for the Bears in Pioneer country, but they always seem to come away with a win.

A similar storyline played out Wednesday night, albeit with even more drama. The Bears overcame a 4-point deficit in the final 90 seconds to hold on to win, 63-62.

After sophomore Malik Albert made a pair of free throws, Delta had the ball and a chance to win the game with 11 seconds left in regulation. The Pioneers’ Caleb McIntosh failed to convert and Mott’s Myles Busby swept away the rebound to secure the win.

“I’ve been doing this a long time; sometimes you get outplayed and you still find a way to win a game,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt on the Michigan Regional Sports Network. “We made a lot of unforced errors, but I’ll take it. It feels good to win, but we could have just as easily left here with a loss.”

At one point midway through the second half, the Bears were down nine points and in danger of frittering away any chance of winning the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference. They fought back to tie the game with four minutes to go, but trailed by four in the final 90 seconds before Albert, the frontrunner for Player of the Year in the MCCAA, went on a 5-0 run by himself to put Mott up one.

Mott played with a sense of urgency in the final two minutes, holding the Pioneers scoreless.

Tre Johnson led all scorers for Delta with 24 points.

Albert had 15 points for Mott (16-4), 10 below his average. Ruston Hayward and Marcus Johnson, both freshmen, added 12 points apiece.

Tre Johnson led Delta with 24.

The Bears should have another chance to redeem themselves from their most recent uninspiring trip to Delta, as the Pioneers will host the district tournament in March.

Mott returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at home versus Henry Ford. Listen live on MRSN.us.

No. 11-ranked Mott earns ugly win over Alpena, 69-45

Posted: January 25, 2014 by Jared Field in College, JUCO, Mott

FLINT, Michigan — Mott Community College won its third consecutive game on Saturday afternoon, but the Bears didn’t look good doing it. Mott (15-4) managed only 23 points in the second half, while still easily putting away hapless Alpena, 69-45.

Mott led by 22 at the half after struggling through the game’s first 10 minutes. Alpena actually had a lead, 14-13, midway through the first half. Fortunately for Mott, sophomore Malik Albert was simply unstoppable. Albert led all scorers with 32 points on only 18 shots.

It’s strange to think any team could “win ugly” by 24 points, but that’s exactly what happened. As a team, Mott only tallied 10 assists to 15 turnovers. That’s bad, certainly, but it actually compares favorably to Alpena’s almost impossible 1-to-12 assist-to-turnover ratio (2 assists, 24 turnovers).

Mott made only five field goals in the second half, but the game was already well in hand. The team’s struggles are due, in large part, to its inability to finish on the break — something like I’ve never been able to say about a Mott team. It didn’t help that starting guard Devin Foster, one of Mott’s most talented players, had five more fouls than he did points.

Freshman Marcus Johnson was the only other bright spot for Mott on Saturday, scoring 17 points with two assists.

Kharri Dailey and Stephen Shepherd led Alpena (4-12) with 11 points apiece.

The Bears will have to get it together, and fast, as the meat of the schedule approaches. Mott will face Delta on the road at 7 p.m. Wednesday night before playing Henry Ford (home), St. Clair (away), Wayne (home) and Oakland (home) in four of the next five games. Those games are all winnable, and losable.