CHAMPAIGN — Winning and being in a position to win are two totally different things.
The Danville Area Community College men’s basketball team has put itself in a position to win every Mid-West Athletic Conference men’s basketball game this season, but the Jaguars were just 1-4 in the league entering Saturday’s game against the Parkland College Cobras at the Dodds Athletic Center.
Once again, DACC found itself holding a 60-58 advantage with just under six minutes left, and while Parkland scored the next three points to take a 61-60 lead, the Jaguars scored on their final six possessions to claim a 72-65 victory over the Cobras.
“I would say that 90 percent of our losses this season have come down to executing in the final five minutes,’’ DACC coach Dajuan Gouard said. “We have been working on end of the game situations for the last two months, and today, if finally clicked.’’
But, at first, it didn’t look good.
The Jaguars, who improve to 11-11 overall and 2-4 in the M-WAC, had a pair of turnovers, a missed shot and a missed free throw after Gouard called a timeout to remind his team about being in this position before.
“I think after those two turnovers, that’s when it started to click,’’ Gouard said. “They started to think about what happens when we do that and on the next few possessions, we got a layup and made some free throws.’’
Kenny Dean hit two free throws with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left to give the Jaguars a 62-61 lead and then Daniel Carter, a former Danville High standout, came up with an offensive tip-in and Danville Area Community College was on its way to snapping a three-game losing streak.
But, the biggest blow to Parkland in the final minutes came when Joseph English buried a 25-foot 3-pointer as the shot clock buzzer was sounding with 30 seconds left in the game. English, who had a team-high 15 points, had given DACC a five-point lead (68-63).