January 23, 2019: PGCC guard Alex Morales (2) attempts a layup during JUCO mens basketball action between Montgomery Community College and Prince George’s Community College in Largo. Photo by Chris Thompkins/Prince Georges Sentinel

LARGO – After a tough loss to Cecil College on Jan. 30, the Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) men’s basketball team bounced back on Feb. 2 with a 71-61 win over Garrett College.

PGCC’s bench play provided the spark with 41 points, led by freshman Tunde Scrivner who tallied a team-high of 18 points.

“Our defense played well today,” Scrivner said. “In the first half, we didn’t really pick them up full court.  In the second half, we put the pressure on them.  We like to speed things up because that’s the way we like to play.  We have to change our mindsets and play the first halves like the second halves going forward.”

The first half of the game started out slow for both teams as each team played well on the defensive end. Both units played slow and could not find their rhythm. The game stayed close throughout, with the biggest lead of the first half being only seven points. At halftime, PGCC led Garrett 32-25.

“In the second half, everything started clicking, and we started hitting shots,” said sophomore Alex Morales, who finished with 10 points. “This was probably the best defense we played all season. We shared the ball, played together and just played our basketball. Last couple games we have been trying to do that, but in the second half, we got back to it. Now we just need to focus on playing a full 40 minutes of basketball.”

The second half was a different story for PGCC and Garrett, as both squads came out firing on all cylinders. Garrett started the half going on a 7-2 run and cut the lead down to two points.

However, PGCC wanted to go out on a good note in their regular season home finale. The Owls answered right back with a 19-9 run of their own that increased their lead to 12 points.

From steals, blocks, 3-pointers and all-around good team play, Garrett had no answers for PGCC as they simply took over the contest.

The Owls bench outscored its starters, 41-30. Sophomore Dariel Medina was a key factor off the bench as well with 10 points.  For Garrett, they were led by Zakeem Davis with a game-high of 22 points.

“We played at their pace in the first half,” PGCC Head Coach William West said. “Garrett is an extremely well-coached team, and he came in here to slow us down with his pace.  We played at that pace and played extremely slow the entire.  In the second half I told them, ‘We’re not in foul trouble, nothing is going wrong, let’s just push the ball,’ and that’s what they did. We started pushing the tempo, getting deep into their defense and laying the ball up.”

The PGCC men are 18-3 on the year and will close out the regular season with a road game against Allegany College of Maryland on Feb. 6.

“We need to improve our defense,” West said.  “We can’t keep expecting to outscore teams. We ended up guarding down the stretch of the game, but then we got tired.  I got to make sure I manage the minutes better.  I try to think that everybody is going to pick it up and pick it up, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  You got to think that like David Burriss didn’t play at all in the first half.  He came in there and I think he played maybe 13-15 minutes the second half.  That was a difference making that adjustment and making that scheming difference.  They killing us on the boards, I got a six-foot freshman.  Let me see if he can get in there and make some plays and that’s what he did.”

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