BY ZACK GIRTON email@example.com
---- — DANVILLE — The Des Moines Community College Bears were able to get around a hot start from the St. Louis Community College Archers on Tuesday in the NJCAA Division II Tournament to get a 75-64 win at Mary Miller Gymnasium
The Bears fought back early in the first half, tying the game at 19 just before the 10-minute mark.
“That first game out here everyone is just excited to be out here,” said Bears head coach BJ McGinn “But after those first couple minutes, we were able to calm down and settle in.”
Coming out of a time out, the score was tied at 31 with 4:07 left in the first half. Bears freshman Jamar Hurdle threw down a put back jam that ignited a 17-4 Bears run that extended into the second half.
The run gave the Bears a 48-34 led that they wouldn’t give back, but McGinn wasn’t exactly impressed with the overall game.
“I really felt like we all struggled initially being ready to play,” McGinn said. “We got to box out better, they really did a good job of crashing the boards, we got a lot of work to left to do.”
The Archers got off to that hot start, but they weren’t able to maintain it throughout the game and head coach Randy Reed credits the cool off to early foul trouble on Cortez Conners.
“It hurt when Conners picked up his third foul in the first half,” said Reed “I didn’t know he had two fouls so his third kind of stagnated our offense.”
But Reed was also quick to point out the good defense by the Bears.
“They did a good job defensively on us, they helped well,” said Reed. “It was tough for us out there, they did a very good job defensively.”
Randy Reed II, who is the son of the Archers Head Coach, had nine first half points but the Bears limited him to just three points in the second half.
“They knew where Reed II was at all the time,” said Reed “They did a good job of sending multiple defenders his way all game and forcing him to miss shots.”
Offensively the Bears were led by Jon Fuqua, who scored a game-high 16 points. Hurdle scored 14 off the bench and LaTrell Viser and Derek Williams both reached double figures for the Bears.
Dispite first half foul troubles, Conners lead the way for the Archers with a game high 16, while Reed II chipped in 12. They were the only two to reach double figures for the Archers.
The Bears advance to the winner’s bracket and will face Essex Community College tonight at 8 p.m.
The loss put the Archers into the loser’s bracket, but Coach Reed isn’t worried about how his team will bounce back.
“That was a good team we lost to so we aren’t going to hang our heads,” Reed said. “It won’t be hard to bounce back, we will be ready.”
The Archers will be back in action Thursday morning at 9 a.m. against Dean College.