Joe Retic II scored 16 points in the second half to help the Owens men's basketball team pull away from Columbus State 80-66 on Saturday.
Retic finished with a game-high 22 points, while adding four rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Express (16-7, 5-1 Ohio Community College Athletic Conference). He finished 7 for 15 from the field, 1 for 3 from 3-point range along with going 7 for 7 from the free-throw line, all in the second half.
The Express took an early 6-0 lead before Columbus State stormed back to take a 14-13 lead with 13:48 left in the half. After the Cougars took a 16-13 lead, Andy Bachman's 3-pointer tied the game and started an 11-0 run for the Express that gave them a 24-16 lead with 10:10 left.
They stretched the lead to as many as nine twice before Columbus State cut its deficit to six at halftime.
The game remained close in the second half until Tony Boykins and Franklin Lindsey hit back-to-back 3s to give the Express a 65-54 lead with 8:13 remaining. From there, the Express never let their lead fall below seven while leading by as many as 19 with 2:22 left.
Retic scored eight of the team's final nine points in the game's final 4:33. Those points came on a 3 as the time was expiring, two free throws, and another free throw on a three-point play.
James Kelly posted his 13th double-double this season with 18 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. He has a double-double in every conference game this year.
Bachman added 12 points, five rebounds, two steals, one block, and one assist. Markese Allen had a team-high five assists, while Chris Wilson totaled four points, seven rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
Keevin Tyus led the Cougars with team-highs in points (21) and rebounds (nine), while adding four assists. Mohamed Conde added 18 points and Jorian Hudson had 16 and a team-high five assists.
Owens hosts Cuyahoga CC on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Owens 80, Columbus State 68
The Express (17-7, 4-2 OCCAC) had a strong second half, led by Emma-Jean Ricketts with 24 points while Jordyn Bond added 18, and Karahn Scott 14.
Bond added 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double this season. Scott had her seventh double-double with 11 rebounds.
The Express outscored the Cougars 32-28 in the paint and 15-11 in second-chance points.
Bailey Pierron led the Cougars with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Andrea Spencer added 15, and Melea Smith added the team's second double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The Express defense held Columbus State's leading scorer, Karis Watts, to four points. She went 2 for 12 from the field and 0 for 3 from 3-point range while not attempting a free throw. She came in averaging 17.8 points per game in conference play.
The Express moved into a three-way tie for second place in the conference behind first place Cincinnati State (5-1).
Owens is back in action Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against Cuyahoga CC.