SILVER SPRING – If the Montgomery College Raptors New Year resolution was to continue the losing trend they started in 2014 then they succeeded and then some Saturday afternoon at home.
After playing well enough to only trail by five points at the half, the Raptors completely dismantled in the second half to lose 88-60 to visiting Nassau Community College (10-4).
“We couldn’t score and I didn’t think it was like this stifling defense. It was just one shot and done, one and done and no offensive rebounds. So it’s a combination of a lot of things, turnovers, bad shots and missing shots,” said Raptors coach James Bryson.
Everything the Raptors were able to do well during the first half, they seemed incapable of doing in the second half.
Offensively the Raptors shooting percentage decreased by 20 percent from the first to second half, while Nassau’s jumped 20 percent.
“It’s focus. It’s not the same focus, if you can go from [shooting] 44 percent to 24 percent. Then yeah, it’s just a lack of focus,” said guard Teivon Johnson, who finished with a team-high 18 points.
The Raptors were not at full force against Nassau with leading scorer guard Devin Shuler hampered by a tight back.
Shuler, who is averaging around 18 points per game, was only able to contribute five points Saturday and did not score his first point until 6:23 left in the game. Shuler said after the game that he was unsure when he would return to being full strength and that he would “just have to work with the trainer” to get his back better.
For Nassau, they were lifted in the second half by Eric Mack and Jaleel Charles who combined for 23 points after sitting in the first half due to disciplinary reasons.
Charles, who received NJCAA Division III player of the week honors last week, scored efficiently making six of his eight shots from the field and knocking down all but one free throw.
Charles credited the offensive system and his teams guard play for his success saying he just looked for the “gaps in the defense” and allowed the ball to find him.
For the Raptors they will have a short time to recoup, as they will go on the road Tuesday to face CCBC Dundalk.
When asked what the team can change in order to come out with a different result, Johnson simply said, “We have to rebound, make layups and not turn the ball over.”