March 18, 2021
No. 8 Lakers rally past Potomac State to stay unbeaten
Brown scores game-high 20 points as Garrett College improves to 10-0
Keyser, W. Va. – Garrett College has rolled through much of its early season schedule, winning its first nine men's basketball games by an average of nearly 32 points. The Lakers won a third of that contests by at least 50 points, with only two victories – both against Allegany College of Maryland – by less than 10.
If the Lakers needed a challenge, they certainly found one Wednesday night against host Potomac State College of West Virginia University. Ethan Kent's 3-pointer from the right wing with 9:43 remaining gave the Catamounts a 63-61 lead as PSC seemed poised for a huge upset.
Then the Lakers showed why they're ranked eighth in the latest NJCAA Division II national poll. D'Monte Brown had 4 points and David Blanc turned an offensive rebound into a 3-point play as part of an 11-3 run that gave the Lakers a 72-66 lead. That spurt helped carry GC to an impressive 89-73 road triumph.
"We knew that Potomac State was really going to come after us," said GC head coach Dennis Gibson. "And we knew we had to prove we could handle adversity. Winning big is great, but you've got to be able to win under pressure."
Brown (9 rebounds, 4 assists) scored a game-high 20 points to pace the Lakers. Teammates Malik Whitaker (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists), Davis Molloy (15 points, 6 rebounds), Robel Desta (13 points), and Cameron Selders (11 points, 7 rebounds) also hit double figures in a balanced GC attack.
Cavonte Duncan (4 assists, 3 rebounds) and Noah Smith (10 rebounds, 1 block) each scored 16 points to pace the Catamounts, who also received 13 points from Markei Hampton. Thaddaeus Jordan and Kent each added 8 points for PSC.
The Lakers controlled the board (39-32 rebounding advantage), using their inside play to shoot nearly twice as many free throws as PSC (6-5). GC outscored their hosts, 23-15, from the free-throw line.
Garrett got off to a hot start, taking an 8-0 lead as Molloy drained a 3-pointer and Antonio Marr (9 points) converted a 3-point play. The Catamounts, however, responded with a 16-5 surge, taking their first lead at 14-13 on Noah Smith's baby hook with 12:15 remaining in the half. That was the first of seven lead changes in the opening half, the last coming on Duncan's transition layup that gave PSC a 41-40 lead at the break.
"I felt like they started out playing harder than us and controlling the boards," said Gibson, whose team is currently seeded No. 1 in NJCAA Division II Region XX. "That was our focus in the second half – hitting the boards and increasing our intensity level."
There were five more lead changes in the second half, with GC taking the lead for good on Selders' driving layup with 8:50 remaining that gave the Lakers a 65-63 advantage.
"I'm proud of the team for battling back when they could have folded," said Gibson. "A target grows on your back when you're undefeated – it makes it a little tougher every game."
GC plays Friday night at 6 p.m. at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, a team the Lakers beat by 55 points earlier this season.
Notes: The Lakers are one of only two undefeated teams in the current NJCAA Division II national poll. Des Moines (Ia.) Area Community College (13-2) is currently the top-ranked team in the Division II poll, followed by No. 2 Johnson County (Kan.) Community College (13-1), Ancilla (Ind.) College (9-0), Davidson-Davie (NC) Community College (11-2), and South Suburban (Ill.) College (11-3).
PSC 69, Garrett 57McHenry, MD – Potomac State used a 21-0 run, including the first 16 points of the second half, to pull away from Garrett College in Wednesday night's women's basketball game.
GC, which had a 23-21 lead before the Catamounts' impressive run, fell to 3-3.
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.