By Jake Moore, Men’s Basketball Beat Writer–
With just seconds left in the first half, Maurice Commander, Chicago, pulled up behind the arc–the shot clock buzzer rang. The ball bounced off the rim onto the upper backboard before sliding through the hoop, adding to the Mocs dominant lead. Commander’s remarkable play led the Mocs to 71-60 victory of Tennessee Tech.
“It was just a shot. It wasn’t a plan.” Commander said “It kind of came to me and I got it in a good spot where I knew I could hit it. It wasn’t too far out, not half court or anything, but a good spot where I could try to get it off.”
With Donovann Toatley, Upper Marlboro, MD, out for the game, Commander got his first start as Moc and he very well could have secured the starting role. Commander shot 4-5 from three point range, finishing the night with 13 points.
He finished the afternoon with three, rebounds, three steals and three assists for the afternoon.
Commander was also the player who lead an incredible opening run for the Mocs that established their shooting performance for the rest of the game.
“When you shoot the ball that well then, from an offensive standpoint, that does wonders for what you believe in that day.” Head Coach Lamot Paris said “You feel like you got your mojo from an offensive standpoint. The biggest keys to it were, that we made the shots, we were 10-22 in the first half, but the biggest part of it were the decisions that we made that led to the quality of shot. We had some high-quality shots.”
Jerry “Buckets” Johnson Jr., Memphis, lead the Mocs in scoring tonight with 14 points.
Johnson also excelled in other areas of the game with five rebounds, four assists and one steal.
“Something I want to challenge myself to do is not just rely on scoring, try to get assists, try to get rebounds and try to get guys open shots.” Johnson said “Just try to be different.”
Keigan Kerby, Hampton Beach, NH, saw a minutes increase tonight and he used that time to produce for the Mocs. Kerby recorded nine points and four rebounds.
“Keigan had a great day today.” Jerry Johnson Jr. said “We haven’t seen a variety of scoring like this from multiple guys in a big time game this.”
The Mocs move to 4-5 on the season. The Mocs open up Southern Conference play Dec 9 against VMI.
I think our team as a collective whole is starting to be more comfortable.” Commander said “We are going to keep coming out being more confident and more aggressive. I think that’s that biggest thing for us now is to be aggressive and to be smart while we’re doing it.”