Allen, Express Men Survive Ashley's 38 Points In 83-68 OCCAC Opening Win Over CuyahogaJanuary 16, 2014
Express sophomore Markese Allen strips the ball from Cuyahoga's Bradley Penman in the second half of today's 83-68 Express win. Andy Bachman (22) watches in the background. Photo by Kyle Whitaker/Owens Sports Information
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Cuyahoga's Aaron Ashley won the battle, but the Express men's basketball team won the war in today's Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) opener.
Ashley finished 16-for-23 from the field (6-for-10 from 3-point range) for 38 points, but the Express took home an 83-68 win at home.
The Express capped off a 19-4 run in the game's first 6:25 with a dunk from DeVondre Peoples (Consortium/Detroit, Mich.), and they still held a 24-7 lead following a 3-pointer from Shavon Gayle (Windsor Catholic Central/Windsor, Ontario, Canada) with just under 12 minutes left in the half.
Cuyahoga, however, would pull within 30-25 on a jumper from Ashley with 6:48 left. At that point, Andy Bachman (North Side/Fort Wayne, Ind) hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Tony Boykins (Loy Norrix/Kalamazoo, Mich.) made a lay-up to extend the Express lead to 38-29 with 3:34 left.
The Challengers battled back, once again, though and closed the half on a 7-0 run to trail by just two at the break.
A back-and-forth early second half saw Cuyahoga take the lead at 44-43 with 16:37 left on a 3-pointer from Ashley, but that's when the Express started to take control of the game. They went on a 13-2 run over the next 4:36 to take a 56-46 lead. The run was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Bachman and a steal and a lay-in from Markese Allen(Crockett/Detroit, Mich.).
After five straight points from Ashley pulled his team within 58-51 with 11:09 remaining, the Express used an 11-0 run in just under three minutes to take firm control of the game.
The Express led by as many as 23 following two free throws from John Murry (North Central/Indianapolis, Ind) with 2:48 left. Cuyahoga used a 10-2 run over the game's final 2:21 to close the gap a bit.
Bachman finished with a team-high 21 points, along with eight rebounds, one assist and one block for the Express, while Murry (19 points) and Boykins (11 points) also hit double figures. Another starter, Kenny Jones(Clay/South Bend, Ind) produced seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds (including a team-high six offensive boards). He also tied Peoples for the team-high in blocks with two.
Shaakir Lindsey (Teaneck/Teaneck, N.J.) had at team-high eight assists, while Allen added four of his own - along with a team-high three steals.
Jahad Fruits led Cuyahoga in rebounding with 10, and Antonio Mason had a team-high five assists.
The Express (14-4, 1-0 OCCAC) will host No. 3 Cincinnati State Technical and Community College at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the SHAC.
Ashley had 38 of his team's 68 points. Aside from him, Cuyahoga finished 13-for-40 (32.5 percent) overall from the field, 3-for-12 (25 percent) from 3-point range and 1-for-6 (16.7 percent) from the foul line.
The Express were without their second leading scorer Bikramjit Gill (Our Ascension of the Lord/Toronto, Ontario, Canada), who hopes to return next game. He came in averaging 12.6 points per contest, while also leading the team in rebounds (7.5/game) and blocks (1.8/game).
Bachman came close to tying the program's single game records for 3-point field goals made and attempted today. His 6-for-12 finish was two short of tying each mark.
The game opened with an administrative technical against Cuyahoga for a jersey infraction, followed by the officials allowing Cuyahoga's Mandell Ranshaw to wear a practice jersey for the game. Cuyahoga's Mason also received a second technical for language early in the first half.