WCCS overcomes halftime deficit to defeat MMIPublished 10:59pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Wallace Community College Selma Patriots rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to pull away from Marion Military Institute Tuesday night in a 72-65 win.
Matrell Smith, 18 points, and Jeffery Mack, 15 points, led the Patriots back in the second half to capture the win.
“We made a few adjustments [at halftime],” Wallace head coach Foster Davis said. “I’m not going to say what they are but they were killing us inside with that backdoor screen so we had to put a stop to that backdoor screen and force them to shoot from the outside. That’s what the difference was right there.”
Davis said in the first half his team was taking too many contested shots and not playing team basketball, something that changed in the decisive second half.
“We weren’t playing team ball. We were playing a lot of one-on-one,” Davis said. “We got back inside and started taking care of the paint a little bit better.”
After trailing 37-34 at halftime, the Patriots rallied to take a 58-47 lead early in the scecond half. The Tigers were forced to take outside shots while the Patriots dominated the boards during the majority of the second half.
MMI head coach Philip Stitt said the Tigers did not do a good job of rebounding after halftime.
“They were getting those easy putbacks and we were coming down and forcing bad shots,” Stitt said. “It just helped them gain more and more momentum.”
In the second half, it looked like the Tigers might be able to get back into the game. Numerous times MMI was able to trim the lead to 10 points but not get it to single digits.
Once MMI did cut the deficit to single digits, the game was in its final minute and the result was no longer in doubt.
“[It’s] lack of effort and lack of intensity,” Stitt said. “That’s been our problem all year is we can’t put back to back practices together and we get in games and we can’t put back to back halves together.”
Stitt said his team continues to battle with lack of effort, but he said his players are young and he’s hoping Thanksgiving break will refocus his guys.
“Hopefully this break will do some good and we can reboot our minds a little bit and come back with a better level of intensity,” Stitt said.
The win marked Wallace’s third consecutive after victories against Southern Union and Gadsden State in the last six days.
MMI does not play again until the Tigers take on William Carey Dec. 4.
Monta Sarford led the Tigers with 18 points. Joshua Murrell was the only other player in double digits for MMI, scoring 10 points.
Eleven different players scored for the Patriots, but Mack and Smith led the way.
The Patriots do not play again until Dec. 5 but will play a tough stretch when their season resumes after the break.
First up is a trip to Birmingham to take on Lawson State, followed by trips to Selma University Dec. 7 and a road game at Shelton State in Tuscaloosa Dec. 9.