Things didn’t start as planned on Wednesday night for the no. 17-ranked Bears at home. Mott didn’t score a two-point basket until five minutes into the game against longtime rival Henry Ford Community College. Fortunately, by that point, freshman guard Malik Young had already connected on his first three 3-point attempts.
Young was the lone bright spot in the first half as the Bears trailed early, clawed back to lead by one at the break, and clipped the Hawks’ wings in the second half to win, 73-54.
“It was a little ugly there at first,” Schmidt told MRSN radio after the game. “But wins are pretty.”
The Bears (11-4) didn’t wrestle away the led from the hawks until a 3-pointer by sophomore Darryl Levert with a minute left in the half gave Mott their one-point lead.The second half was a bloodbath for Henry Ford. Mott completely demoralized the undermanned Hawks, who came into the game with only five players. Both teams were shorthanded, due to injuries, illnesses and academic shortcomings. Mott dressed eight players, an upgrade from the team’s seven-man outing on Saturday afternoon at Oakland.”It’s a weird thing that’s going on in college athletics right now,” Schmidt said. “There’s no excuse for us to have only eight players; there’s no excuse for them just to have just five. We all have to do better.”
The Bears completely wore down the Hawks in the second half, extending their lead to 14 on a triple by Tommie Johnson just nine minutes into the half. Six minutes later, the Bears led by 23 after a basket in the lane by freshman Rod Milton.
The win Wednesday night was just what the doctor ordered, as the Bears now have a week to get healthy for the showdown versus Schoolcraft College. The Ocelets currently have the best overall record in the league at 13-3. There’s a great deal of parity in the league this year, so don’t count out the Bears just yet.
“Coming off a tough loss, we needed a win,” Schmidt said. “We’re going to bounce back and start playing Mott basketball.”
Daryl Bigham once again led Mott (11-4) in scoring with 21 points. Milton added 16.
The game versus Schoolcraft will be on the road next Wednesday night.
You can listen to the game live on MRSN.us starting at 7:30 p.m.