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Ice-cold finish ruins Hawks' rally

December 08, 2005|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team picked a horrible time to cool off.

The Hawks rallied from an 11-point, second-half deficit to claim a one-point lead, but went scoreless for the final three minutes, 43 seconds and dropped a 71-68 decision to arch-rival Allegany College of Maryland on Wednesday night.

Sparked by a defense that forced 12 second-half turnovers, as well as the hot shooting of Derrick Fields, HCC (3-7) took a 68-67 lead on a Tommy Cox 17-footer with 3:43 left.

After Momodou Jobe missed the front end of a 1-and-1 which could have padded the Hawks' lead, James Hairston responded for Allegany (5-4) by tipping in his own missed shot to reclaim the lead with 31 seconds left.

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Jobe missed the mark on a 15-foot jumper with 9 seconds left, and Orlando Harris rebounded before drawing a foul. The Trojans freshman missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but Lance Fuller corralled the loose ball, was fouled with 3.8 seconds remaining and clinched the win by hitting both shots.

The Hawks held Allegany to nine second-half field goals.

"The whole second half was wonderful," said HCC coach Kenny Keyes. "I can't complain; we just didn't get the luck of the bounce when we needed it."

Seven points by Ricardo Lovelace in the first 10 minutes of the first half propelled the Hawks to a 19-13 lead, but Allegany reeled off a 29-14 run - sparked by Donald Johnson - to end the half, and held a seemingly comfortable nine-point edge at intermission.

Two Harris free throws to open the second half pushed the lead to 44-33, but Fields alone outscored the Trojans 13-7 over the next six minutes to close the gap to 51-46.

"(He) got them back in the game," said Allegany coach Mike Baker. "He had the first 13 (points) of the second half for them. I don't know that I've seen that before. He can shoot the ball."

When Fields cooled off, Cox picked up the slack, draining a pair of 3-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Lovelace had 17 points for HCC.

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