HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Community College and the Monroe College men’s basketball teams entered the Jim Brown Classic with 6-0 records.
Only the team from the Bronx, N.Y. stayed that way as the No. 1-ranked Mustangs came away with a 98-78 victory in the nightcap of the first day of the weekend mixer at the HCC athletic complex.
The Mustangs’ defense was ready for the Hawks.
“We wanted to start out man-to-man and see how they would react,” Monroe coach Jeff Brustad said. “We like to switch our defenses. They scored some points in bunches. Our 2-3 zone helped us out later in the game and we got a lot of mileage out of it.”
Monroe held a 25-9 lead after just nine minutes of play.
“We dug ourselves a big hole,” HCC coach Barry Brown said. “Our shot selection was not what it should have been. We let them do what they wanted to do tonight. We did not rise to the occasion. They have got four starters back from the team that beat us in the district finals last year. They are the No. 1-ranked team in the country and they played like it tonight.”
HCC narrowed the gap to 47-45 with 16:30 to go in the second half.
But the Mustangs outscored the Hawks 30-12 during the next 9 1/2 minutes to increase their advantage to 77-57 with seven minutes left in the game to put it out of reach.
Davon Marshall pumped in 27 points, including five three-pointers, while Tauron Bailey collected 18 points and six rebounds for Monroe. Marco Bourgault got 15 points, including a trio of 3s, while Orlando Sanchez grabbed nine rebounds for the Mustangs. Drimir Ferguson contributed 12 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Monroe buried 12 3-pointers and outrebounded the Hawks 45-35.
Devin Miller led HCC with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while Raymar Watson added 12 points.
HCC cut the lead down to 28-25 with 6:30 remaining in the first half. But Monroe College ballooned the lead to 42-33 by halftime.
In the first game, Monroe Community College from Rochester (N.Y.) defeated Allegany 70-64.
Andre Armstrong scored 16 points, Mike Wilson got 12 points and Eddie Callender added 10 points and seven rebounds for Monroe (5-2).
Sam Dale collected 16 points and seven rebounds, while Casey Roberts scored 12 points for Allegany (2-4). Darnell Turner added 10 points and seven rebounds.