After suffering his first loss of the season on Wednesday night in double overtime on the road against Owens, Steve Schmidt’s team got one back against the state of Ohio. Unlike on Wednesday night, Schmidt had most of his roster prepped and ready to go against Columbus State (4-4).
The Bears, minus only starting guard Joseph Stamps, knocked off Columbus State, 83-76.
Mott (6-1) led by five at the half and actually trailed by one at the 13-minute mark of the second half. Things started to look even more dire for the Bears when, less than a minute later, 6-7 forward Darryl LeVert was whistled for his fourth foul. This could have been the turning point for Columbus State but, as it turned out, it was Mott’s time to make a statement.
From that point, the Bears embarked on 9-0 run highlighted by a dunk in transition from freshman Daryl Bigham and some timely scoring from freshman Tez Thomas. The former Flint Beecher standout scored 11 points of his 14 points in three minutes to extend Mott’s lead to 10 with eight minutes left. The Bears led by as many as 16 in the half, and held off a late charge by Columbus State to earn the victory.
Bigham led Mott with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman small forward Tommie Johnson added 17 including three triples.
Columbus State’s Matthew Rhodes led all scorers with 23 points on 10-for-15 from the field.
Mott’s brutal December schedule continues on Wednesday night when they travel to Lansing to take on the Stars at 7:30 p.m.
• This may have been Mott’s best all-around effort on both ends of the floor (I’m purposely forgetting the final three minutes of the game). The Bears were active on the glass, took care of the ball and got after loose balls like I haven’t seen all season.
• Saturday’s performance by Daryl Bigham is one that could be replicated on a regular basis. Bigham is a tremendous athlete with good hands, a solid frame and a desire to play around the rim. If he brings it like that every game, Mott’s frontcourt will be a major upgrade over last season.
• I could probably give Mott fans five or six guesses and not get a right answer to this question: Who do you think played the most minutes for the Bears on Saturday? You (didn’t) guess it. It was walk-on forward Matt Place (Lapeer, MI). Place actually started this game and played all but five minutes. Place sets the bar for effort and, at Mott, that will get you big minutes.