Men's College Basketball: Vermilion ends CLC's 16-game win streak
Saturday was a day of missed opportunities for the Central Lakes College Raiders. They missed an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Northern Division and they missed an opportunity to get head coach Jim Russell his 350th win at CLC after dr...
Saturday was a day of missed opportunities for the Central Lakes College Raiders.
They missed an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Northern Division and they missed an opportunity to get head coach Jim Russell his 350th win at CLC after dropping a sometimes ragged 78-71 contest to Vermilion.
The Raiders saw their 16-game winning streak snapped and also allowed the Ironmen to tie them for first place in the division.
Radamus Jones led the way for CLC with 17 points, and Davaghndre Jones collected 16 points, while N'Gai Dixon finished with 10.
The Raiders, however, shot just 41 percent from the field, and were 6-20 from behind the arc. They also scored just 31 points in the first half.
To make things worse, Vermilion handed them numerous opportunities, due to poor free throw shooting, to make things interesting at the end, and CLC could not finish. The Ironmen went 9-26 from the line, including 5-16, with the Raiders only cutting into the lead by one point during that time span.
"Our team has a lot of heart and character. I hate to say it but we needed this," said head coach Jim Russell. "We were getting too comfortable. The best part is that we will use it as a learning situation and the best time to teach is right now when they are feeling down and like they failed. That's OK because part of life is dealing with adversity and this is one of those situations."
Vermilion was the one dealing with adversity coming into the game as it had lost on its home floor to the Raiders earlier in the season.
The Ironmen came in with a defensive plan which was to pack in their defense and force the Raiders to shoot from the outside. The plan worked as they led 41-31 at the half. They also outrebounded the Raiders by a 49-37 margin.
In the second half, CLC struggled to cut into the 10-point lead, but did get it down to 51-46 at the 12:34 mark on a basket from Radamus Jones. The Ironmen built the lead back up to 14 on a bucket from Eddarie Hibbler at the 9:20 mark.
Hibbler finished with 16 points. Devonta Brooks led Vermilion with 22 points in 38 minutes played.
Down by 10, the Raiders decided to foul to try to get back in the game. It paid off on one end as Vermilion started missing free throws. The problem was on the other end as CLC could not convert those misses into points as it would score just eight points in the last four minutes.
"They came out with a great game plan in daring us to shoot," said Russell. "We just didn't run our stuff. I was hoping that we would shoot better at home, and at the end we rushed a bit, but we haven't been in that situation. This is all good and as a coach I learn just like the players do. We are all in this together."
Vermilion 41 37 - 78
Central Lakes 31 40 - 71
Darsean Woodson 5, Deshun Patterson 8, Radamus Jones 17, N'Gai Dixon 10, Davaghndre Jones 16, Darvelle Hayes 2, Eric West 2, Alex Koch 7, Jayelyn Price 4. FG 28-69 (41 percent), FT 9-15 (60 percent). 3-point 6-20 (30 percent). Division: 9-1. Overall: 19-4. Next: vs. Itasca at Grand Rapids 8 p.m. Friday.
Eddarie Hibbler 16, Dre Lucas 3, Devonta Brooks 22, Girece Kazumba 10, Christian Rodriguez 14, Pierre Roddy 4, Tommy Butler 2, T Michael Cunigan 7. FG 32-66 (49 percent), FT 9-26 (35 percent). 3-point 5-16 (31 percent).