Mott falls to Macomb in battle of ranked teams, bows out of conference title race

Posted: February 25, 2017 by Jared Field in College, Mott
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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson led the Bears with 26 points against Macomb on Saturday (Feb. 25)

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt confirmed what many fans already knew Saturday afternoon after his team’s 83-79 loss to Macomb.

“We’ll probably see this team again,” said Steve Schmidt, among the winningest coaches in JUCO basketball history.

Schmidt has made a career out of avenging regular season losses in the playoffs.

The Monarchs and the Bears, ranked 12 and 13 respectively in the most recent NJCAA poll, comprise two-thirds of the Big Three in the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference — Schoolcraft rounds out of the trio. For the MCCAA Eastern Conference to have three legitimate national championship contenders is unprecedented.

The Bears (21-6) will take on Alpena on the road Monday night before wrapping up the regular season on Wednesday night at home versus Wayne County. That game could decide third place in the conference. If the Bears get the third seed, they would play the sixth seed in the first round of the District 10 tournament March 7 at home.

Schmidt has foreshadowed postseason success for this squad all season long, and he did it again even in defeat Saturday afternoon. Schmidt told MRSN radio that he is not discouraged about the team and their prospects for the near future.

“I still feel like we have a lot left in  us,” Schmidt said. “That was one hell of a college basketball game.”

That was an understatement.

Mott trailed by nine at the half and by as many as 12 early in the second half before a furious comeback. Led by Marcus Cole, Diandre Wilson and Shawn Pardee, the Bears sprinted out on a 20-5 run punctuated by a Cole dunk that put Mott up one midway through the second half.

The Monarchs (22-4) led by freshman Dwight Burton responded with a 9-2 run of their own. The Bears, with their best forward Robert McCalley on the bench with four fouls, couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch. McCalley ultimately fouled out with less than five minutes left in the game.

Freshman point guard Darwin Weis cut the Macomb lead to one with under three minutes to play before Macomb’s Antonio Capaldi responded immediately with a triple to put the Monarchs back up four. Macomb made its free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

 

 

 

“We battled back; we made a few mistakes but our guys hung tough,” Schmidt said. “They are in first place for a reason. Really Proud of the effort. I liked a lot of things.”

Mott split the season series. They beat the Monarchs 66-58 at home January 25.

Wilson, the Bears’ leading scoring, led Mott with 26 points. Cole poured in 18 points with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Austin Walker added 13 points off the bench.

Listen to Mott basketball all season long on MRSN.us.  

2017 NJCAA District 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 7, 9, 11, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Campus Sites, Higher Seed

Game 1 – Eastern Conference 6th Place vs. Eastern Conference 3rd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 2 – Eastern Conference 7th Place vs. Eastern Conference 2nd Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM
Game 3 – Eastern Conference 5th Place vs. Eastern Conference 4th Place, 7:00 or 7:30 PM

Thursday, March 9, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1:00 PM
Game 5 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Eastern Conference 1st Place, 3:00 PM

Saturday, March 10, 2017
St. Clair County CC, Port Huron, MI

Game 6 – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1:00 PM

Winner advances to NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, IL

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