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Inside job - Hawks attack hoop to run off Southern Maryland

January 24, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team had three objectives Wednesday night against the College of Southern Maryland.

Rebound. Outlet. Score.

Hagerstown followed through as it held a 49-32 edge on the glass and pushed ahead to sink 42 field goals in a 105-86 Maryland JuCo victory - the Hawks' fourth in a row.

The point total is the second highest this season and the most since Ryan Devlin took over as head coach on Jan. 2.

"Our thing for the past two days has been to just go out and play hard," Devlin said. "We knew it wasn't a very good team we were going to face, so we said, 'Let's go out and show what we're capable of.'"

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Hagerstown (16-4, 10-2) drained 38 of 68 shots from inside the 3-point line. Kelvin Bright led Hagerstown with 32 points, while John Long added 22 to go with 15 rebounds. The duo combined for 23 baskets - all within 10 feet of the hoop and Hagerstown scored 20 of their 27 points in transition to open the second half.

"You have defensive pressure, but there's such a thing as offensive pressure, too," Devlin said. "We really got the tempo up and our guys played hard. And we got some guys in the game for eight or nine minutes that don't usually see a lot of time. I couldn't be any more proud of each and every one of them."

Southern Maryland (4-14, 2-8) trailed 49-33 at halftime and used a 6-0 run to pull the score to 57-43 with 16:06 left, after which coach Alan Hoyt II screamed, "Now, can we get a stop?"

From there Hagerstown went on a 19-4 run, helped by an intentional foul and a technical foul on Southern Maryland which essentially resulted in a seven-point possession.

Bright, Long and the rest of the Hagerstown starters began to trickle to the bench as the lead continued to grow. Bright left at the 9:28 mark and a pair of baskets by reserve forward Lewis Lambert gave HCC a 95-62 edge with 6:03 left.

Southern Maryland went on a 20-point run to cut the gap to 95-82 with just over two minutes left, bringing most of the HCC starting five back into the game to close matters out.

"That was just to make sure," Devlin said. "We got that big lead then kind of let it get away. When it came time to execute, we did, and I can't ask for any more than that."

Southern Maryland point guard Laron Mann fueled the late surge and finished with a game-high 34 points - 26 in the second half. Brandon Dukes had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

ยท The HCC women were scheduled to play Garrett College in the nightcap but the game was postponed after the Lakers got stuck in traffic and failed to show up at the Hagerstown athletic complex in a timely manner.

"I canceled the game as it would be unfair for both teams to start the game at 9:30," said HCC athletic director Bo Myers.

The game was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. It has not yet been rescheduled.

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