DANVILLE — The No. 1 seed of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, Cincinnati State Tech & Community College, pulled away late against Garrett College in a hard-fought 80-65 victory on Tuesday at Mary Miller Gym.
At the 6 minute,12 second mark of the second half, Cincinnati State held a slim 61-59 lead after a made free-throw from Garrett College’s Chris Scarlett (nine points). The Surge then went on a 13-0 run over a four minute span before the Lakers hit another field goal.
During this four minute span, the Surge’s Winston Grays (16 points) and James Kilpatrick (7 points) were the catalyst offensively with 11 of the 13 points during that run.
The Surge went back to an aggressive man to man defense from a zone they had been in most of the second half that frustrated and wore down the Lakers.
“We like to run a lot of players in at the opponent, plus we switch up our defenses to try wearing the opponent out especially in the second half,” Cincinnati State coach Andre Tate said.
This strategy worked as Garrett College looked tired down the stretch and couldn’t make many open looks.
Midway through the second half, the Surge expanded the lead over the Lakers to 59-50. The Lakers put in their 3-point shooters to help negate the zone defense, and went on an 8-0 run to pull within a point at 59-58.
“I thought we would do a better job against the zone offensively but we couldn’t get our shots to fall in the second half, maybe we were tired but we shouldn’t have been,” Garrett coach Dennis Gibson said.
Other than the three-minute span in middle of second half, the Lakers didn’t shoot well — shooting only 33 percent in the second half. Frank Holloway (20 points, 10 rebounds) led the way in the second half for the Lakers as they were fighting to get back in the game.