Mott’s hopes of turning the season around and making a run at another conference title were drowned in the chilly depths of the Detroit River Wednesday night.
The Bears’ three-game winning streak was snapped by Wayne County, 74-55, in downtown Detroit. This was the most lopsided defeat for Mott in over five years (January 9, 2010 versus Henry Ford). What’s worse? Mott welcomes first-place Oakland Community College to Ballenger Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
The loss all but assures that Mott will not be a contender for the Eastern Conference championship this season. The Bears are now tied with Delta for third place in the east, fully three games behind Oakland and Schoolcraft in the loss column.
For Mott’s hall of fame head coach, Steve Schmidt, fame sounded more like shame after the game.
“We got it handed to us tonight,” Schmidt told MRSN radio. “This is just out of character. I’m really embarrassed right now. I’ve been coaching a long time. There’s a bigger picture here that our guys haven’t picked up yet.”
Schmidt took full responsibility for his team’s lack of effort and focus, a full season’s worth of frustration and still over a month left to play.
“This team hasn’t bought in from day one, and I have to take ownership of that,” he said.
Schmidt started the season behind the eight ball after not inviting back a single player from last season’s 25-6 team; the year before that the program finished 31-5 and eighth in the country. That said, he was not at all impressed with the work ethic of his freshmen class — on or off the court — and elected to start from scratch.
Wednesday night, Mot trailed by 12 at the half and by as many as 21 early in the second half. The Bears responded with a 10-0 run, a burst of energy that was short-lived.
Daryl Bigham led Mott (14-7) with 19 points. Justice Green added 11.
Barring an upset over Oakland on Saturday, Mott is assured of earning its worst win-loss record since the 2002-2003 season. The game will be broadcast live at MRSN.us starting at 3 p.m.
MCCAA Standings as of Feb. 5, 2015
|Wayne County||5-5||.500||12-9||.571||4.0||5-3||4-5||3-1||Won 2|
|St. Clair County||2-7||.222||9-12||.429||6.5||5-6||4-5||0-1||Lost 3|
|Henry Ford||1-9||.100||6-14||.300||8.0||3-6||3-7||0-1||Lost 3|
|Lake Michigan||8-2||.800||17-6||.739||—||9-3||7-3||1-0||Won 1|
|Kalamazoo Valley||7-3||.700||12-11||.522||1.0||7-5||4-4||1-2||Won 4|
|Grand Rapids||6-4||.600||12-8||.600||2.0||8-2||4-6||0-0||Won 2|
|Glen Oaks||1-8||.111||8-12||.400||6.5||6-3||2-9||0-0||Lost 6|