Nesbitt’s third straight double-double helps Ocelots sink Lakers
By Nick Misiak
T’era Nesbitt’s 25 points and 11 rebounds led an Ocelot offensive attack that featured three scorers in double digits as the Schoolcraft women’s basketball team overcame a slow start and foul trouble early to win its fourth home game this season, downing Mid Michigan Community College 75-64 on Wed. Dec. 3.
Mid Michigan came into the game with only one blemish on their record, losing the only game of their season against Delta College 87-77.
Good defense and an accurate offense that shot well early contributed to an early 17-9 lead for the Lakers, who had several scoring opportunities close to the basket.
“I was literally waiting for the team to wake up,” said Schoolcraft head coach Kara Kinzer. “I was waiting for them to wake up on defense because it’s kind of what gets us up and going in games so I was just waiting for them to kick it in gear a little bit.”
Despite the shaky start, Nesbitt and freshman guard Ashley Bland continued to grind, making a series of plays to shift the momentum back into the Ocelots favor. Nesbitt drove the lane between two Mid Michigan defenders for a lay up, and Bland drained a three pointer on the next Ocelot possession to bring Schoolcraft to within one at 20-19.
Nesbitt scored 13 in the half and had another impressive layup with six seconds remaining to strengthen the Ocelot lead to 38-30 at halftime.
Early foul trouble gave Mid Michigan the bonus with 8:43 remaining in the half, but Schoolcraft tightened down defensively and only fouled the Lakers twice the rest of the half.
Schoolcraft came out to begin the second half looking much more energized, and began to look much more comfortable with their offensive schemes. The Ocelots began to find holes in Mid Michigan’s defense, and began to run away with the game.
A 9-2 run to begin the half put the Ocelots up 15, and their lead never fell below ten until late in the game when the outcome was already decided.
“The team helped me out a lot. They encouraged me to do better’” said Nesbitt. “Every body encourages every one to do better. You’ve got your team, and if you put them up they’ll help you out.”
Nesbitt was the offensive backbone for the Ocelots, shooting 8-16 from the floor for 25 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the Ocelots offensively. Bland fell one rebound shy of a double-double herself with 22 points and nine boards.
The win improves the Ocelots to 6-3 on the season, while Mid Michigan drops only their second game, falling to 6-2.
OCELOTS 1-1 IN TURKEY TROT
On Nov. 29, the Schoolcraft Womens Basketball team snapped their three game losing streak with a 66-45 victory over Edison Community College (OH) in the consolation game of the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Tournament held in Kalamazoo.
Only five Schoolcraft players scored in the game, but four of them put up more than 15 points in the winning effort. Freshman guard Elise Tolbert had 16 points and 13 rebounds, freshman guard Ashley Bland had 17 points, freshman guard T’era Nesbitt had 15 points and sophomore forward Sara Gammons had 16 points and seven assists. Sophomore guard Jessica Parry scored the other two points for the Ocelots.
Sophomore Center Aaliyah Wise led Edison with 16 points, and freshman guard Brooke Dunlevy committed 14 turnovers to contribute to the Chargers second half demise.
The previous day, Owens Community College (16) dominated on Nov. 28 against Schoolcraft, riding sophomore forward LaKayra Carlisle’s 17 point, 14 rebound performance in a 75-55 victory over the Ocelots in the first round of the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Tournament.
T’era Nesbitt scored 18 in the losing effort, and Ashley Bland had 14 points. The two were the only Ocelots to score in double figures. Both were only one rebound away from recording a double-double.
Freshman guard Sierra Harley put up 16 points and six rebounds for Owens, and sophomore guard Ashley Tunstall added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Express.
OCELOTS NIPPED BY ONE POINT
In a tight and highly competitive game, Schoolcraft was unable to rally from an early deficit and lost to Glen Oaks Community College 51-50 at home on Sat. Nov. 22.
The Ocelots are on the road on Wed. Dec. 10 against Jackson College before returning home on Sat. Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. to face Edison for the second time this season.