CSM men’s hoops drops two at NJCAA tourney
Hawks yielded over 90 points in each setback
After attaining the Region XX tournament as the sixth seed, the College of Southern Maryland men’s basketball team proudly headed to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II tournament at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill., looking to duplicate their performance as a genuine Cinderella team.
Unlike the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, commonly referred to as March Madness, the NJCAA D-II tournament is a double-elimination format. The top eight teams were seeded, while CSM was among the eight teams thrown into the random draw where fortune was hardly favorable.
In fact, CSM (14-18 overall) had the misfortune of drawing the No. 1 overall seed, Southwestern (Iowa), for the opening round on Tuesday and the Hawks were unable to maintain their winning ways. CSM played tough in a 94-69 setback, as the Hawks trailed by only 10 points at the intermission and were still within 15 with two minutes left when head coach Alan Hoyt, a Great Mills High School graduate, emptied his bench.
“We knew they had a lot of really good shooters,” Hoyt said of Southwestern. “We played them close in the first half and it was still only an eightpoint game early in the second half. We just made a few mental mistakes that allowed them to go on some runs. It was 1110 in the first half and then we went six minutes without a basket and the next thing you know its 24-10. You just can’t have those types of droughts against those teams.”
CSM got 24 points and eight rebounds from David Francis, while Anthony Williams (a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf) had 12 points and eight assists, Trevon Porter (a Great Mills High School graduate from Lexington Park) added 10 points and 13 rebounds and Jordan Battle (a Thomas Stone High School graduate from Waldorf) and Sean Scott (a St. Charles High School graduate from Waldorf) each scored nine points.
CSM was 2 of 19 (11 percent) from three-point range, while Southwestern was 11 of 29 (38 percent).
In the losers’ bracket on Wednesday, CSM was upended by Waubonsee (Ill.), 92-81.
Waubonsee had lost to eighth-seeded Pima (Ariz.), 93-84, in the opening round one day earlier. Having seen Waubonsee fall in the opening game of the tournament, Hoyt was optimistic that his
squad can bounce back from the setback and fare well in the elimination game.
But the Hawks again found themselves in a 10-point hole at the intermission, trailing Waubonsee, 47-37. CSM narrowed the gap to 71-68 midway through the second half, but it could never draw even.
Francis again led the Hawks with 23 points in a losing cause, while Dominic Espeleta (a Westlake High School graduate from Waldorf) added 14, Williams had 12 and Porter added 10. Levon Randall (a Thomas Stone High School graduate from Waldorf) scored 13 points off the bench.
CSM and Waubonsee shot better than 50 percent from the floor, but the Illinois squad was able to withstand a CSM second-half surge en route to eliminating the Hawks.
“It was a great experience for the guys to win the Region XX title and get a chance to play on the big stage,” Hoyt said after Wednesday’s setback. “We had our chances, but we had some defensive lapses and they were able to pull away from down the stretch. We have six guys back next year and hopefully this showing will help with our recruiting effort and a lot of guys out there will want to come down and play for CSM the next two years.”
The College of Southern Maryland men’s basketball team lost twice at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II tournament at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill. The Hawks fell to Southwestern (Iowa), the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, on Tuesday, 94-69, then lost to Waubonsee (Ill.) on Wednesday, 92-81.