No. 10 Patriots outlast Richard Bland in OT, 95-88

January 28, 2016


PETERSBURG, Va. — Resiliency, determination and grit were just some of the characteristics on display Wednesday by the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team.

The Patriots, ranked 10th in the NJCAA, Division II, forced overtime against Region X foe Richard Bland College before outscoring the Statesmen 14-7 in the extra session to win 95-88. The win was the sixth straight for the Patriots.

PHCC trailed for much of the second half after entering the halftime break knotted at 36. Richard Bland took the biggest lead of the game at 71-63 with 5:53 remaining in regulation, prompting Patriots coach Kenny Wade to take a timeout. The talk on the bench uplifted the Patriots as they responded with a 15-4 run over the next five-plus minutes to take a three-point lead with 30 seconds left. Jordan Griggs tied the game at 88 for the Statesmen with a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining¬†before PHCC’s Henry Butler missed a potential game-winning 3 at the buzzer.

In overtime, the Patriots (15-2, 8-1) closed the final two minutes on a 10-3 run to seal the victory. Freshman Thomas East (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored six of the final nine points in regulation for PHCC and then tacked on four big free throws in the final 30 seconds of overtime to finish with a game-high 20 points in 19 minutes of action off the bench. He was 9-of-10 at the line and added four rebounds. Sophomore Jerel Jennings (Richmond, Va.) added 18 points — 12 in the second half — four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block over 31 minutes, but was just 2-for-10 from behind-the-arc.

Freshmen Henri Ventoniemi (Finland) and Keyshawn Johnson (Halifax County, Va.) were the other two Patriots scorers in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Johnson also added six rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Shawn Duhon (Fenton, La.) had a game-high 12 rebounds as PHCC had 51 total as a team, including 15 on the offensive glass which led to 18 second-chance points. It held a plus-9 (51-42) rebounding advantage and also outscored Richard Bland 35-21 at the free-throw line, hitting 35-of-47 attempts.

“It was a hard fought game and our guys came together, grinded that win out,” Wade said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. It was a very big win for our confidence.”

Devin Smith and Troy Gibson paced the Statesmen (9-10, 5-4) with 20 points each, while Griggs and Gerard Dean-McBride added 17 and 13, putting four of their five starters in double figures. McBride also had a game-high 11 assists.

The Statesmen’s bench, however, couldn’t answer PHCC’s reserves as the Patriots held an overwhelming 37-12 edge in bench scoring. PHCC had 10 of its 13 players who entered the game score. There also were a total of 20 ties and 11 lead changes.

PHCC held the biggest lead in the first half at five. Richard Bland pushed its lead to seven for the first time at 56-49 with 13:31 left in the second half. Jennings and Johnson combined for an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to give the Patriots a 57-56 lead. Neither team lead by more than a possession until the Statesmen went on a 9-1 run for the biggest lead of the game. Again, PHCC fought right back as East’s 3-pointer tied the game at 75 with 2:07 left in regulation. East then hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining before Griggs’ 3 sent the game to overtime.

The Patriots are off for another week when they travel to Wake Tech on Feb. 3, looking for their seventh consecutive win.


Filed under: Men's Basketball