Mott (25-3) trailed 4-2 against Schoolcraft on Saturday afternoon in the game’s first two minutes. The next 38 belonged exclusively to the Bears. Mott sophomore Kory Billups led the no. 10-ranked Bears on a 48-14 run to end the half and ultimately to a 96-46 victory.
Schoolcraft, a team that blew out Kirtland less than 24 hours prior to Saturday’s game, were dominated by the Bears defensively — held to only 16 points in the first half. To start the second, the Bears immediately embarked on a 20-0 run to put the road team up 70-18.
One major bright spot for Mott is the play of freshman guard Malik Albert, who has officially broken out of his late-season scoring slump. Albert hit six 3-pointers en route to a game-high 26 points.
“Malik shot the lights out,” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN radio. “We’re getting ready for March Madness.”
As a team, Mott shot an unreal 64 percent from the floor and held Schoolcraft to 26 percent. The Bears compiled 30 assists on their 39 made field goals.
“The guys did a great job,” Schmidt said. “We had 15 assists in the first half … that’s the key, and it’s contagious. I’m pleased with this effort. I made a commitment as a coach to take it up a notch, and the players are responding.”
Billups turned in another solid all-around performance with 21 points and six rebounds. Freshman center Coreontae DeBerry scored 16 points with eight rebounds and three blocks.
Richmond Jackson led Schoolcraft (6-20) with 12 points.
After the game, Schmidt also expressed some chagrin at his team’s recent freefall in the NJCAA national poll. The Bears are ranked 10th despite having a better overall record than many of the teams ahead of them in the poll. They have also beaten no. 9-ranked Moraine Valley head-to-head.
Mott will finish off its regular season schedule at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night at home against Alpena.