Men take down #5 Richard Bland.

January 29, 2015

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

After last Wednesday’s loss to NJCAA Division II No. 2 ranked Louisburg, the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team still was left searching for a marquee win against a top Region X opponent.

With another shot at taking down a top 5 national team Wednesday, the Patriots picked a good time to climb the conference standings. PHCC knocked off No. 5 Richard Bland College 85-82 at Stone Hall, picking up its first win this season against a conference leader.“A win like this shows us what we can do when we play together as a team,” said PHCC coach Kenny Wade.Marcus Hayes led a potent Patriots bench with a game-high 22 points. The Patriots scored 53 of their 85 points from their four bench players; in fact, those four scored three fewer points than Richard Bland’s starting five. All nine players who entered the game for PHCC scored.“We just wanted to come in and give the starters a spark and help them out,” Hayes said.Fourteen of Hayes’ 22 points came at the free-throw line. PHCC attacked the basket throughout the game, making a total of 51 trips to the foul line compared to Bland’s 32. Sixty fouls called in the contest, including four technicals. The Patriots finished 35-for-51 at the charity stripe.One of Hayes’ two 3-pointers kick-started a 14-4 run over the final five and half minutes of the first half to open a 36-23 lead at the break. An 11-2 run over the first four and half minutes of the second half extended the lead to 21 points for the Patriots (12-5, 9-2), whose largest lead of the game was 23.Bench players Shawn Duhon and Paris Jamison complemented Hayes during the middle stretches of the second half to help keep the cushion between 16-20 points. Duhon had nine of his 11 points in the second half.“Our intentions with our bench players is to get them minutes and not have any drop off. They help us create tempo too,” Wade said.Another key component beside the 52 percent shooting by the Patriots was their ability to own the glass. They held a 42-35 advantage in rebounding. They Patriots gave up 15 offensive boards to Bland, but those only led to 14 second-chance points. PHCC was strong on the defensive glass, grabbing 35 defensive rebounds and holding the visitors to many one-and-done possessions.Wade said the combination of free throws and rebounds ultimately made the difference as Bland pushed hard to get back in the game. The Statesmen closed the game on a 16-6 run over the final 2:20 to make the score closer than it really was. Playing against his former protégé at PHCC — Bland head coach Chuck Moore — Wade said he expected a hard fought game to the final second.Wade served as Moore’s assistant for two years before taking over. Moore coached the Patriots to a 16-0 Region X record in 2008-09, helping them to a No. 11 national ranking.“It’s always going to be intense because both of us are intense competitors. I knew it was going to be like this going into the game,” Wade said. “It came down to which team would step up and be ready to play.”The Patriots are not back home until Feb. 11 against Catawba Valley Community College. They have now won three straight and play seven of their final eight games on the road.“It’s a very satisfying win, but we’re not satisfied overall,” Hayes said. “Our main goal is to win a conference championship.”


Filed under: Men's Basketball