April 20th, 2021
Lakers bury DC-R under 3-point avalanche
GC drops in 15 treys while advancing to Thursday night's national quarterfinals
Danville, Ill. – Fourth-seeded Garrett College survived an early Thunderducks run, using a barrage of 3-pointers to pull away for a 76-59 victory Tuesday morning over No. 13 Dallas College-Richland in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II men's basketball championship tournament.
The undefeated Lakers (16-0) hit 8-of-17 first-half treys, a blistering 47.1 percent, to wipe out an early 6-point deficit on the way to a 36-28 halftime lead. Sophomore guard Davis Molloy took it from there, scoring 17 of his 20 points in the second half while draining 4 3-pointers for the Lakers.
"He's a pure shooter,” GC head coach Dennis Gibson said of Molloy. "That's what we expect of him.”
Gibson also expects efficient 3-point shooting from his team – and that's exactly what his squad provided. The Lakers finished the game 15-of-32 from the 3-point line, compared to 8-of-24 for Richland.
"That's what we've been the whole season – a team that just makes big shots,” said Gibson. "We're not just a 3-point shooting team, but we're an offensive team more than a defensive team.”
GC advanced to the national quarterfinals, where the Lakers will play the winner of Wednesday's opening-round contest between fifth-seeded Ancilla College (13-1) and No. 12 Southern Arkansas University Tech (17-4). That quarterfinal will take place Thursday at 8 p.m.
"I'm proud of the effort by the guys to just bare down and do what they had to do,” said Gibson of his team's performance in the 9 a.m. tournament opener. "Obviously what we had to do was make shots because we're a shot-making team.”
Molloy shared game-high scoring honors with D'Monte Brown, who scored his 20 on 6-for-13 shooting, included a trio of treys, and a 5-for-5 effort at the line. Malik Whitaker added 13 points, Antonio Marr had 8, and Cam Selders and David Blanc scored 6 each. Desta Robel only had 3 points, but pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
DC-R (15-3) used a 10-0 run to build an early 12-6 cushion as Jordan Keys (15 points) scored 5 points, including a trey, and Donovan Souter (team-high 17 points) drained a 3-pointer. The Thunderducks still led by a half-dozen at 20-14, but Garrett took the lead for good with an impressive, 13-0 run.
Not surprisingly, the 13-0 surge was fueled by 3-pointers. Selders started the run with a trey before Whitaker hit a layup and then a pair of free throws to put GC ahead to stay, 21-20, with 9:18 left in the half.
Brown then banked in a 3-pointer and Marr knocked down another trey to complete the run.
The Lakers, who had a 36-28 halftime lead, used Molloy's hot hand to blow the game open after intermission. In fact, Molloy had all the Laker points in an 8-2 streak that gave GC its biggest lead at 61-43 with 9:51 remaining.
Notes: While Gibson says the Lakers are an offensive team, their defense has held up pretty well in the postseason. GC is allowing 66.3 points-per-game since the start of postseason play.
GC finished with a 45-36 rebounding advantage. Selders had a game-high 7 assists – just one less than the entire Thunderduck squad.
Marr provided an early contender for best shot of the tournament, hitting a first-half 3-pointer from nearly half court as the shot clock was winding down. The ball had been poked away and Marr, once he recovered it, had to shoot immediately.
"We called that play,” Gibson deadpanned. "That was amazing. We do mess around in practice trying that shot, but nobody makes it.”
Gibson was noticeably chagrined that the Lakers – seeded fourth and the only unbeaten Division II team in the country – drew the 9 a.m. game.
"Why does #4 play at 9 in the morning – I have no idea,” said Gibson. "That's definitely a disadvantage. Usually it's the 8-versus-9 game at that time.”
The most up-to-date information on Garrett College's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), can be found online at https://www.garrettcollege.edu/corona-virus.php.