No. 5-ranked Mott, down three starters, loses in double OT at Owens

Posted: December 4, 2014 by Jared Field in High School

Mott Community College had just ascended into the top five in the latest NJCAA poll this week. The Bears were undefeated heading into the meat of their schedule and starting to get their sea legs.

That all changed on Wednesday night, when Coach Steve Schmidt did not allow three starters to make the trip to no. 12-ranked Owens (Ohio). Rod Milton, Daryl Bigham and Joseph Stamps were all held out of Mott’s 84-79 loss to Owens in double overtime. Mott started the game with eight players, finished with five and fell short.

The trio violated team rules off the court and, ultimately, cost their team a win over a good program.

Schmidt was not happy after the game, expressing disappointment not just in his team’s play Wednesday night but also in their lack of commitment.

“I guess I’m a different coach,” he said. “If you don’t understand what it means to be a part of this program, what a privilege it is, you won’t play here.”

The Bears actually held Owens to under 35 percent shooting from the field for the game, but could not keep the Express off the charity stripe. All told, Owens attempted 44 free throws to Mott’s 14. Even so, there were 11 ties and four lead changes in the game that was tight throughout.

Mott (5-1) was led by forward Darryl LeVert, who scored 17 points with 11 rebounds. Justice Green and Austin Daniels added 16 and 14 points, respectively. As a team, the Bears shot an abysmal 2-for-17 from 3-point range.

Owens (8-2) had four players in double figures led by Darren Groves, who scored 21 points with 15 rebounds.

It doesn’t get any easier for Mott, as the Bears welcome Columbus State (Ohio) into the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Columbus State (4-2) has averaged 86 points per game this season.

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