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Lumberjacks stumble in second half, fall to Mott

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki ACC sophomore Chris DeRocher (33) makes a basket over a pair of Mott Community College defenders on Tuesday at Park Arena.

For one half of basketball, the Alpena Community College men’s basketball team pushed the No. 10 ranked Mott Community College Bears to the limit.

Unfortunately, one half does not make a whole and the Lumberjacks (0-2) failed to keep up in the second half as they suffered a 79-62 loss to Mott (2-0) in their home opener on Tuesday at Park Arena.

“I don’t like the loss, obviously we want to win, but I was pleased with what I saw tonight. We just have to be better for 40 minutes,” ACC head coach Mark Jacobs said. “I can’t complain. We played as a team in that first half and we got a good effort from everyone on the team and we gave them (Mott) a run tonight.”

Despite allowing the first seven points of the game, Alpena responded, thanks to the sharp shooting of Kelley Stark, who was a perfect 3-for-3 from three in the first half and went on to lead all scorers on the night with 16 points.

Along with Stark, the Lumberjacks got a balanced effort and offensive production all around. They went back and forth with Mott and erased the early deficit by taking the lead midway through the first half.

There were four lead changes during a three-minute stretch in the first half as ACC put together one of its best halves of basketball under Jacobs, despite trailing 36-28 at the break.

“That was the best first half of basketball that we’ve played in a long time here. We were back on our home court, our energy was good and I told the guys we can play with anyone in the league, we just have to play fo 40 minutes,” Jacobs said. “Our turnovers hurt us and they’re top 10 in the nation, they’re a good team, they’re physical and tonight was a very well played physical game. Overall I was pleased with our game.”

The second half was a different story as the Bears came out locked in and on a mission to extend the lead. They did so in a huge way by opening the half on a 13-2 run, including the first eight points of the second half to push their lead to 49-30.

Alpena was held scoreless through the first four minutes of the second half and dug a hole that kept getting deeper as the Bears showed why they are a top-10 team. They scored inside, outside and threw down some highlight reel dunks along the way to put the game out of reach early in the second half.

“For a lot of our guys, it’s their second game in college which was a big difference tonight,” Jacobs said. “I think tonight’s game shows our guys that we can play with anybody. We just have to play 40 minutes of basketball.”

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