The ACC men's basketball team once again hosted Muskegon on Friday and wanted to use the opportunity to get revenge for its last two losses against the Jayhawks.
In spite of a strong turn second-half around that cut the Jayhawks' lead in half, ACC fell to the Jayhawks 68-57 at Park Arena.
ACC coach Frank McCourt commented on his team's performance in the last four minutes.
News Photo by James
ACC’s Lavario Smith (15) attempts to score past Muskegon’s Devaughn Cole-Rodney during the first half of a men’s basketball game on Friday at Park Arena.
"You gotta make a comeback like that when the game is on the line," he said.
The game started out strong with ACC more than holding its own in the first few minutes of the half. Jalin Gross from Muskegon struck first six seconds into the game, but Lavario Smith was able to answer back less than 30 seconds later. William Gates Jr. then hit a three to help ACC take the lead for the first time.
ACC held onto the lead until it was 7-6 when Kenya Oas from Muskegon hit a three that stole the lead. Gates and Smith struck back, even against a second three from Oas to help retake the lead at 15-14. It was the last time ACC had the lead on the night.
Muskegon answered back with field goals by Gross and Jake Anderson, which overtook the Lumberjacks 16-15. Gross then hit another three while the Jayhawks went on a four-minute scoring streak that ACC was unable to answer back from.
Smith came out strong for ACC, scoring two field goals and a three in a four-minute streak, but Muskegon continued to outscore ACC. Part of the problem lay in turnovers and missed rebounds which began taking their toll, plus the Lumberjacks began missing shots.
Oas hit another three, his third of the half while Marquise Hatter also hit a three in a minute in a half to extend Muskegon's lead. However, ACC's Logan Wickert hit a three with a minute and a half left in the half to help cut the lead to 39-25. Unfortunately, this was ACC's last score in the half as Delvon Brown for Muskegon hit two field goals to put Muskegon up 43-25 at the half.
The second half was very similar to the first. ACC struck first with Sean Berryman hitting a basket less than a minute into the half. Smith then scored the next basket of the half to help narrow Muskegon's lead to 43-29.
Muskegon scored its next basket two minutes into the game led by Gross, Leach and Brown. The trio combined for four baskets and a free throw before ACC scored again, extending the Jayhawks' lead to 52-29.
ACC answered back with a field goal from Mujahhedn Mustafaa as well as a free throw and back-to-back threes from Jarod Jones. With 10 minutes left in the game, ACC trailed 58-38.
Muskegon answered back by hitting three free throws and a field goal but its luck began drying up in the last four minutes of the game.
The last four minutes of the game saw ACC outscore the Jayhawks 12-5 in an impressive run that included a basket by Gates, a field goal and a three by Kharri Dailey and back-to-back threes by Shane Hentkowski.
Unfortunately, it was a little too little too late for ACC and McCourt commented on his team's strengths and weaknesses in the game.
"The defense wasn't bad in spite of the turnovers. The offense still doesn't know their roles. We're running offense without shooting at practice until each player knows where they can shoot," he said.
ACC is 1-6 and travels to the Firebird Christmas Classic in Mio on Friday.
Muskegon (68): T. Grant 3-0-0-6; D. Brown 4-4-5-12; M. Hatter 1-0-0-3; A. Wyers 2-0-0-4; D. Cole-Rodney 3-0-0-6; J. Gross 7-3-6-18; Z. Leach 0-2-2-2; K. Oas 4-0-0-12; J. Anderson 2-1-2-5.
Alpena (57): K.Dailey 3-0-1-7; L.Wickert 2-0-0-5; W. Gates Jr 4-1-1-11; S. Berryman 1-0-0-2; L. Smith 7-0-0-15; M. Mustafaa 2-1-3-5; J. Jones 2-0-0-6; S. Hentkowski 2-0-0-6.