Women's Basketball: Owls stare down HCC in Palmer's home finale

February 01, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Wednesday night ended Hagerstown Community College women’s basektball coach Marlys Palmer’s stay in front of the home bench at HCC athletic complex.

That was tough enough. But unfortunately, it also signaled the end of the Hawks’ 16-game win streak.

The evening of celebration and good memories from Palmer’s 33 years of leading the Hawks ended with one black mark as Prince George’s scratched out a 63-56 Maryland JuCo Conference victory, handing HCC its first loss since Nov. 28, 2011.

“I thought we played hard,” Palmer said. “Prince George’s was just offensively a little better than what we were tonight. Offensively, we did not have a good night.Their defense gave us a little bit of trouble, but their defense gave us as much trouble as their offensive penetration did.”

The Hawks (21-2, 9-2) entered the game as the nation’s third-ranked team in defensive average with 47.2 points per game. It wasn’t good enough as HCC continued to show problems scoring points.

The Hawks were stagnant on offense, which didn’t create shots and they missed a number of layups they did get. To add to the problem, there were few rebounds.

“We got a lot of shots, but we just missed a lot of shots around the basket,” Palmer said. “That is just the way that it goes sometimes. The end of the regular season schedule on the road is going to be a little bit tough. That is going to tell us what we are made of.”

HCC took its last lead at 52-51 with 3:16 remaining in the game on a basket by Akatshi Osongo. But then the Owls outscored the Hawks 12-4 for the rest of the way to pull out the win.

Prince George’s coach Tiona Harris had the Owls prepared for the contest.

“We pressured the ball a little bit on their guards,” Harris said. “We were contesting the open shooters. We have been working on rebounds for the past couple of weeks. I told the players that controlling the boards would be very important for this game. So, we went out there and got the rebounds to get the second opportunities.”

Danielle Durant scored 21 of her game-high total of 23 points in the second half, while Coneisha Smith chipped in with 21 points and seven rebounds for Prince George’s (14-5, 9-3). Marissa Akens got 11 points, while six-foot center Jonesse Briscoe hauled down 10 rebounds for the Owls.

Alessandra Flores led HCC with 19 points and three steals, while Yolonda Pinkcett collected eight points, 14 rebounds and three steals.

Prince George’s 63, HCC 56
Smith 21, Briscoe 4, Rudd 2, Durant 23, Akens 11, McCormack 2. Totals 26 9-22 63.
Smothers 2, Osongo 7, Sprecher 7, Cue 6, Pinkcett 8, Roberts 7, Flores 19. Totals 23 8-12 56.
Halftime — HCC 29, Prince George’s 25. 3-point goals — Prince George’s 2 (Smith, Durant). HCC 2 (Roberts, Flores).

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