Trailing Oakland by eight at the half, the Mott Community College Bears somehow managed to find a sense of urgency that had been lacking in the game’s first 20 minutes. The Bears pulled themselves together to win 84-79.
Mott (15-8) turned an 8-point deficit into a 10-point lead over a span of eight minutes. The 25-7 run took the sting out of a brutal first half for the Bears, who couldn’t make anything happen offensively and couldn’t stop Oakland’s 6-7 freshman Kevin Hayes.
“That was a great second half for us,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt on MRSN. “A lot of teams would’ve folded. I’m proud of our guys. They accepted a challenge at halftime.”
Schmidt said he didn’t yell at the team per se, but simply challenged them to play with purpose and intensity.
“They really answered the bell,” he said. “And there aren’t many programs I’d rather beat (than Oakland).”
The run was paced by Mott’s big three, Jalen Adams, Diandre Wilson and Lorenzo Collier. The trio has been leading the Bears’ scoring attack all season. The trio combined to score 57 points. Freshman DJ Mayo added 10 points for the Bears.
Mott also welcomed the return of athletic freshman guard Aaryon Davis, who gave the Bears good minutes in his first game back after injuring his ankle last week.
The Bears led by as many as 14 points in the second half before a 7-0 run by the Raiders cut the lead to seven with two minutes left.
The Bears, reeling from a home loss to Wayne County on Saturday, now have the opportunity to settle in for the stretch run. Mott will take on Henry Ford, the bottom feeder in the MCCAA Eastern Conference at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The following Saturday, Mott will travel to Schoolcraft to take on the Ocelots, currently alone in first place. The Bears beat the Ocelots by 18 three weeks ago at home.
Kevin Hayes led Oakland (9-12) with 31 points. The Raiders chances of winning the conference are all but dead, falling to 5-5 in the MCCAA East.
Listen to Mott basketball live on MRSN.us.