Ocelots pull out comeback win over Macomb
BY BRYAN ZAZAIAN AND NICK MISIAK
STAFF WRITER AND SPORTS EDITOR
Freshman guard T’era Nesbitt scored six points in the final 49 seconds of the game, turning a three-point deficit into a three-point victory on Jan. 31, as Schoolcraft Womens Basketball topped Macomb Community College in a 51- 48 nail biter.
Schoolcraft now sits at 14-7 (6-3 conference), one game behind Delta Community College and St. Clair County Community College for the MCCAA Eastern Conference lead. Macomb fell to 14-6 (6-3 conference).
Nesbitt continued her stellar season by putting up 21 points, while freshman guard and leading scorer Ashley Bland scored 15 to go along with two rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Elise Tolbert, who had eight points, five steals, three rebounds, two assists and a block, was the only other starter to score for the Ocelots.
Schoolcraft did not have a stellar first half, but impressive team defense and late buckets by Bland and Nesbitt pulled the Ocelots back into the game when Macomb led 27-21 at the end of the second half.
Just over five minutes into the second half, sophomore guard Chelsey Wesley completed a three point play in which she was fouled during a layup attempt that went in to tie the game at 33-33.
Macomb rallied to increase their lead back to seven, but Tolbert and Nesbitt began hitting their shots and kept the Ocelots within striking distance of the Monarchs. Nesbitt then exploded with just under a minute left to go in the game, nailing four of her five free throws and completing a three point play of her own to give the Ocelots their first lead with only 38 seconds remaining.
“The heart that these ladies showed today was absolutely incredible,” said Head Coach Kara Kinzer after the game. “Personally, I didn’t think we should have been in such a close game, but we were still able to overcome our mistakes and get a big win.”
SCHOOLCRAFT’S LOST FIGHT
Poor shooting and untimely turnovers ultimately cost Schoolcraft on Wednesday, Jan. 28, as the Ocelots fell to the St. Clair County Fighting Knights, 57-63.
What began as a back-and-forth contest during the opening 10 minutes would quickly swing in St. Clair County’s favor, as an avalanche of missed shots hurt the Ocelots’ cause. Schoolcraft’s modest 12-10 advantage suddenly became a 15-point deficit, as the Ocelots seemed to lose all rhythm offensively.
“[We] basically went in and out of spurts of playing hard defensively,” Coach Kinzler explained. “We played selfish offense and didn’t use our team pace.”
The Ocelots finished the game shooting an atrocious 33% from the field, but one bright spot offensively for Schoolcraft came courtesy of guard T’era Nesbitt. The freshman poured in a game-high 19 points and also came away with 8 rebounds.
“We [weren’t] clicking together. Everyone wasn’t on the same page,” said Nesbitt. “We’re [going to] try connecting with each other better…Get a better feel for each other and a better understanding of who’s better at doing certain things [offensively].”
Schoolcraft travels to Oakland Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 11 to face the Raiders before returning home on Saturday, Feb. 14 for a showdown with Henry Ford Community College at 1 p.m.