Men’s basketball outlasts Pitt 77-76

January 17, 2016


WINTERVILLE, N.C. — Needing some sophomore leadership Sunday to earn a weekend Region X road sweep, the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team got just that.

Richmond, Va. native Jerel Jennings hit a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds remaining, helping the No. 13 ranked Patriots down Pitt Community College 77-76 in Winterville, N.C. Jennings hit two 3s in the second half and finished with 11 points as one of three scorers in double figures. The win came within 24 hours of an eight-point victory at Lenoir Community College.

The win moved PHCC to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the conference. It will now host conference unbeaten and No. 10 Louisburg College on Wednesday in a game that could possibly feature a pair of top-10 nationally ranked teams when the latest poll gets released Tuesday.

After the defense got a stop with 33 seconds left, the offense maximized its 30-second shot clock possession, ultimately finding Jennings open for a 3-pointer and the win. Pitt then failed to get a shot off in an attempt to win the game on its last possession.

“Overall, it was a tight game,” Patriots coach Kenny Wade said. “We kept our composure and stayed together for the win. I am proud of the way we stuck together during crunch time and got the win.”

The Patriots led 46-45 at the half as nine different players scored in the opening 20 minutes. The interior presence of Henri Ventoniemi and Jacob Traore combined for 14 points, while guard Keyshawn Johnson joined Ventoniemi with eight points in the half. Johnson finished with a team-high 12 as a total of 11 players scored for the Patriots.

PHCC had to play from behind over the closing portions of the second half as Pitt took an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation. The lead was then shaved to two at the three-minute mark and the game was eventually tied moments later after the Patriots got a defensive stop. The teams exchanged a couple of 3-pointers until Jennings’ winner provided the final bucket.

The victory Sunday was the eighth for the Patriots this season in games decided by five points or less. It also was the second win by a point and fourth this season by one possession.

Wade said his team did a better job of not leaving points at the free-throw line Sunday as opposed to the day before. The Patriots finished 21-of-26 at the line against Pitt, a stark difference to the 27-for-50 effort against Lenoir. PCC didn’t shy away from shooting the ball as it attempted 37 3-point attempts, hitting 14 and finishing at 43 percent for the game from the field.

Filed under: Men's Basketball