LCC tops No. 1 Schoolcraft College in overtime
In one of the most anticipated early matchups of 2015-16, the fifth-ranked LCC men’s basketball team (9-1 overall) topped the nation’s top-ranked team, Schoolcraft College (6-1 overall), 90-80 in an overtime thriller. The game was played in LCC’s Gannon Gym.
“Oh God, we’ve been practicing hard all week to play the number-one ranked team,” LCC’s Jimmy Kodet said. “Schoolcraft is a tough team; and the fact that we beat them is exhilarating. We worked hard and it paid off.”
Reigning NJCAA Division II Player of the Week Javon Haines scored a game-high 30 points, shooting 11 for 24 from the field and three for nine from three-point range. He joined four other Stars in double digit scoring.
“We felt like we had to come in here and take care of business,” Haines said. “We feel like we are the number one team.”
Second-year standout Kodet had 16 points to go along with two blocks. The freshmen duo of Isiah Green and Curtis Davidson scored 13 points each.
Schoolcraft began the game in a full-court press. The Ocelots’ overly aggressive defense landed them with five early fouls and helped LCC sprint out to 22-9 lead.
But Schoolcraft began to live up to its top-billed ranking, exposing LCC’s transition defense and isolating the Stars’ backcourt. This forced LCC into bad passes and Schoolcraft led 40-33 at halftime.
“Their organization hurt us a little bit,” LCC Head Coach Mike Ingram said. “They got a lot of easy buckets because we didn’t rotate back.”
With LCC down 63-54 Ingram had seen enough and called a timeout. Schoolcraft reduced LCC’s offense to one with individual players trying to carry the team.
“I just told them they weren’t passing the ball,” Ingram said. “Guys were open and (LCC’s) Mike (Johnson) missed a layup, but it was a teaching moment.”
Benefitting from a few missed free throws (10 of 14) and a flagrant foul by Schoolcraft, LCC found itself down 74-72 with less than 20 seconds in regulation. Haines desperation drive was tipped in by Kodet with just over four seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
“The first thought that went through my head was to stop the ball,” Kodet said.
Schoolcraft’s foul trouble near the end of regulation came back to haunt the team as the Ocelots’ starting point guard fouled out one minute into overtime.
Ingram’s constant player rotation all game long was just too much to overcome for the Ocelots’ patchwork offense, as they were outscored 16-6 in extra time.
“I’m not surprised because I got some really talented guys,” Ingram said. “I got the best player in the region, I think.
“I think I got maybe three of the top 10 players in the region and I think we have the best big guys. You got to win, and that’s what we are doing.”
LCC was scheduled to travel to Dearborn Saturday, Dec. 5 to face Henry Ford CC, which the Stars dominated 123-94 on Nov.4.
The Stars are scheduled to return to the Gannon Gym to take on the Northwood University JV team Monday, Dec. 7.