DANVILLE — After Wednesday’s 73-67 loss to Wabash Valley at the Mary Miller Gymnasium, Danville Area Community College coach DaJuan Gouard wondered aloud who was the guy that scheduled three games against NJCAA Division I teams in the first five days of the season.
His answer could be found in any mirror — Gouard, himself, compiled the schedule.
“I’m happy with where we are at,’’ he said, knowing a 1-2 start isn’t the end of the world for the Jaguars. “Vincennes (who beat DACC 81-73 on Monday) and Wabash Valley are more athletic and bigger than us. They just simply beat us up.
“We are playing a tough schedule. These games will help us when we come down to play teams at our level.’’
DACC, which is an NJCAA Division II program, has actually had opportunities to beat Vincennes, the top-rated team in Division I, and Wabash Valley, which has won 69 games in the last three seasons with former DACC coach Mike Carpenter at the helm.
Ultimately on Wednesday night, it was a 16-2 run for the Warriors, who improved to 1-2, that turned a 50-48 game into a 66-50 contest.
“That cost us big time,’’ said Gouard. “It went from a 2-point game to a double-digit deficit. That’s hard to recover from, especially when its your third game against a Division I opponent in five days.
“We really didn’t have any fight in the last 10 minutes of the second half.’’
The Jaguars had just a little spark in the final two minutes, as they outscored the Warriors 15-4 but DACC never got any closer than the final margin of 73-67.
“We did put some stuff together at the very end,’’ Gouard admitted. “But, we can’t have those type of lapses against a team like that.’’
During the 16-2 run for Wabash Valley, DACC was 1-for-6 from the field, 0-for-3 from 3-point range, they missed a free throw and they committed two turnovers.
“It was a combination of everything,’’ Gouard said. “I wanted to see how we responded mentally after playing a tough team like Vincennes on the road on Monday night.
“I saw that we are not as mentally as tough as we need to be when we face some adversity. We need to be a whole lot more tougher — no matter how our bodies are feeling.’’
Malik Parker, the leading scorer for the Jaguars at 15.5 points per game, was held to just four points — all of them coming on free throws. The sophomore was 0-for-7 from the field.
Sophomore Armon Brummett, a transfer from Bradley, picked up some of the scoring with a game-high 19, while Madison Lowery came off the bench to score 14 for the Jaguars.
“Those guys kept us in this game early,’’ said Gouard, whose team led four times in the first half, and got as close as 35-35 and 40-40 ties in the second half.
One concern for Gouard were the 16 offensive rebounds for Wabash Valley, which led to 13 second-chance points for the Warriors.
“They have four guys over 6-7 and we have no on that is taller than 6-7,’’ Gouard said. “We knew that coming in. We had to box them out and we didn’t get it done.
“We lost by seven and if we take away four or five of those offensive rebounds, maybe we would have had a better chance.’’
Marcus Garrett, a 6-1 sophomore, led Wabash Valley with 18 points to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds. Also in double figures for the Warriors were Raekwon Drake with 17 and Bobby Harvey with 12.