FLINT, Michigan — Midway through the second half on Wednesday night, Mott Community College was on the verge of suffering a historic home loss. Down 26 points to Delta College with 12 minutes to go, the Bears risked breaking a record that no one wants to break.
Mott head coach Steve Schmidt called a timeout to implore his team to, at least for the rest of the game, pretend to care.
“I want you to play the rest of this game like it’s zero-zero,” he said. “I want you to play like the game is on the line. I don’t know if you have it in you, but I better see something.”
Over the next five minutes, the Bears went on a 12-1 run to cut the lead to 14. They showed something, but it wasn’t enough. The teams traded baskets and free throws for the remainder of the game, and the Pioneers held on for a 70-59 win. The deficit the Bears ran up in the first 30 minutes was too large to overcome.
With the win, Delta improved to 9-5 in conference.
The Bears have now lost four of their last seven games. Going back to last season, Mott has loss four of its last five meetings with Delta.
Mott (16-10) trailed by 14 at the half. The first 20 minutes were eerily similar to the first half against Schoolcraft College on Saturday. The Bears shot less than 25 percent from the field in both halves, taking away any legitimate chance of a comeback.
Mott has five conference losses and is now in a logjam in the MCCAA Eastern Conference. A win would have gotten the Bears close to a home playoff game. The loss gets them closer to a road game in the first round of the District 10 Tournament.
Freshman Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 20 points. Sophomore Lorenzo Collier added 12. Mott played without the services of their second-leading scorer, Jalen Adams, who is nursing an injury.
The Bears will play on the road Saturday at St. Clair, a team also fighting for playoff position. Mott beat the Skippers by 21 at home last month.
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