MORRISON / BLADE PHOTO Enlarge
Owens Community College turned to veteran leadership down the stretch after trailing at halftime to down Edison 73-62 at home in a men's Ohio Community College Athletic Conference game.
The second-half comeback was led by second-year players Mark Church, JaMar Wesley, and Marques Fobbs. Church led the point parade with 18, while Fobbs and Wesley added 12 each. All of Fobbs' points came in the second half. Wesley also recorded six assists. Justin Freer chipped in with 10 points.
The Express bench produced 29 points to 21 points from the Edison reserves.
John Simpson from Liverpool, England topped Edison with 22 points to lead all scorers.
Owens committed 11 turnovers in the first half but settled down, adding only five to that total in the second half.
The Express made 27 of 54 shots from the field, including 6 of 12 3-pointers.
Owens will travel to Piqua Tuesday night for a makeup rematch with Edison.
The Express improved to 24-4 overall and 11-2 in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference. Owens currently stands in second place behind Cincinnati State.
Owens is ranked No. 4 nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II poll.
Since there is no men's conference tournament this year, the final regular-season standings will determine the seeding for the NJCCA Region XII tournament set for March 6-8 in Dayton.
Owens' women's team shot the lights out in the first half, hitting 9 of 16 2-pointers and 5 of 13 3-pointers, and pulled away to a big halftime lead en route to a 76-65 victory over Edison.
The Express also made 29 of 37 free throws in the game for 78 percent.
“We run a motion offense and attack the basket despite our lack of size,” Owens coach Mark Henry said. “We average 34 free throws a game.”
Stacey Weiland and Tonia Willis scored 18 points apiece for Owens and Willis added seven rebounds. Michelle Vorst and Laura Wilson tallied 14 apiece. Wilson also had four assists and five steals.
The Express moved to 18-8 overall and 9-4 in the OCCAC, good for a second-place tie with Cincinnati State. Edison and Owens will meet again Tuesday in Piqua to end the regular season.
The league tournament will begin Thursday at Lakeland CC in Kirtland, Ohio. Owens will host the NJCAA Region XII women's tournament March 4-8.