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Campus News

November 7th, 2023

Hot-shooting Hocking holds off Lakers

Vargo's game-high 32 follows 35-point effort against Allegany

Hocking College shot just over 50 percent from the field and placed six players in double-digits in Saturday's 115-100 men's basketball victory over host Garrett College.

"When we shoot the ball like that we're tough to beat," said Hawks head coach Ryan Miley, whose team defeated Potomac State College of West Virginia University, 83-62, Friday night while sweeping its two Personal Best Tip-Off Classic games.

"When they shoot it well, they're really good," agreed Matt McCullough, GC's third-year head coach. "They were bigger, stronger, and faster at every position against us. That's probably the best single-game team performance since I've been here."

Dennis Asoro scored a team-high 28 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds in Hocking's win over GC. Anthony Millner (21 points, five rebounds), Jaden Woods (16 points, seven rebounds, four assists), Treshawn Cody (13 points, 11 rebounds), Allen Lattimore (11 points, team-high seven assists), and Tyree Morgan (10 points, seven rebounds) were the Hawks' other double-digit scorers.

Hocking looked poised for an early blowout, using an 18-2 run to wipe out an early 4-0 deficit.

Lattimore hit a 3-pointer and Asoro turned a nice post-up move into a three-point play to start the surge. Millner capped the spree with consecutive 3-pointers to give the Hawks an 18-6 advantage.

Millner gave Hocking its biggest cushion of the first half with another 3-pointer, this one stretching the lead to 37-20 with 8:13 left before intermission.

GC, however, got back in the game with a 30-15 run that included 13 points from Jhaiden Wilson (26 points, game-high eight assists). Rob Smith (13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists) ended the run by hitting a pair of free throws with 1:21 remaining in the half, pulling the Lakers within 52-50.

Cody hit a jumper and Woods threw down a slam dunk to give Hocking a 56-50 halftime lead, which Woods extended to 58-50 with a basket off an offensive rebound to start the second half. GC, however, responded with a 14-4 run that Antwan Gross capped with a jumper as the Lakers took a 64-62 lead.

"We were pretty resilient," said McCullough of the way his Lakers kept fighting back.

GC's lead, however, proved to be short-lived. Hocking answered with an 11-2 scoring spree that started with a Cody 3-pointer and ended with a Marvin Good three-point play as the Hawks rebuilt their lead to 73-66.

Garrett pulled within 88-84 when Alex Vargo hit both ends of a one-and-one with 8:11 remaining. Vargo's game-high 32 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, came on the heels of a 35-point, 10-rebound effort in Friday's 80-76 loss to Allegany College of Maryland.

"Alex can really score the ball," said McCullough. "He gave us honestly what we expect out of him. He's like that all the time – and he's only going to get better. Seeing him against Hocking and Allegany – two of the most athletic teams we'll play – I'm obviously excited about what he's going to be able to provide us."

The Hawks then showed some tenacity of their own. They responded to GC's rally with an 11-0 scoring streak that put the game away.

"I knew they were going to be good," McCullough said of the Hawks, who are coming off a 24-2 season. "We saw them against Potomac State. They didn't run as much offense as they did against us. They definitely played much better against us."

Wilson, Smith and Nate Washington – GC's only second-year Lakers – combined for 41 points.

"I can't say enough about the efforts Rob and Nate gave us both games," said McCullough. "And Jhaiden had a nice bounce-back game after Allegany [eight points on 2-of-11 shooting].

"That [ACM game] was the first time he's been out there in a couple of years," said McCullough, noting Wilson missed the 2022-23 season due to injury after playing in the 2021-22 campaign.

McCullough came out of the weekend mixer optimistic about the season.

"We're 0-2, but there were a lot of positives that came from the weekend," he said. "A lot of the mistakes we made are very fixable – things like a missed rotation, or giving up baseline instead of sending the ball to the middle. We'll be ready to get back on the court this weekend [in a Saturday-Sunday mixer at Beaver County Community College]."

Notes: Justin Boyd was the fourth Laker in double figures against Hocking with 11 points.

ACM 80, Garrett 76

Tyson Oghene scored a team-high 26 points and hauled in 12 rebounds Friday night in the Trojans' season-opening win.

Car'Ron Brown added 20 points, Brian Ayafor chipped in 11, and Cam'Ron Brown contributed 10 points and eight assists for ACM.

Alex Vargo scored a game-high 35 points and Nate Washington added 15 on 6-of-8 shooting to pace GC.

"Nate is just extremely reliable," said GC head coach Matt McCullough. "He continues to get better and more confident."

The Lakers play Westmoreland County Community College Saturday at 3 p.m. and host Beaver County Community College Sunday at 5 p.m. in another mixer-style event.