By: Gary Demski
LARGO, Md. – The calendar may read February 16, but the excitement for 'March Madness' is in the air. The #8 NJCAA D2 Frederick Community College Cougars returned to the court on Friday afternoon to battle the Seahawks from Cecil College for first round action of the MD JUCO Tournament. The two teams had an epic battle during the regular season and fans got their money's worth today with Cecil College winning in double overtime, 78-76. With the loss, FCC drops to 21-4 on the season and the Seahawks improve to 11-13.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
These same two teams squared off in the regular season on January 27th. The Cougars would come away with a 72-69 victory. Heading into today's game, FCC Head Coach Emonte Hill and his team knew Cecil College would be a tough battle in the first round of the MD JUCO Tourney.
Both teams came out of the gates sluggish in the first few minutes of play. FCC would go on a 5-0 run to close out the half as both teams headed to the locker room with the game tied at 30 after 20 minutes of action.
FCC would come out of the locker room and build a 45-35 lead with 13:34 left to play. The Seahawks came storming back led by Greg Alexander who scored a game high 22 points for Cecil College.
In the waning seconds of regulation, FCC had a chance to win the game, however a 3-point field goal attempt by Dashon Bell grazed the front of the rim, and both teams were deadlocked at 56, heading to OT.
On two separate occasion, the Cougars would take a five point advantage, but couldn't close out the contest. Once again, extra time was needed, and the two teams would head to a second overtime.
With 2:07 left in the second overtime, FCC was clinging to a four point lead (76-72) thanks in part to Keon Claiborne knocking down critical free throws. The Seahawks refused to quit and scored the final six points of the game to earn the victory.
Ben Meredith led FCC with 19 points (6-of-12 FGs) while Keon Claiborne scored 18 points and Marlon White Jr. chipped in with 16 points (5-of-13 FGs, 4-of-9 3 PT FGs). Claiborne and Kenneth Stencell Jr. pulled down 10 rebounds.
FCC struggled from the field connecting on just 21-of-65 (32.3%) shots. On the season, they are shooting over 50% per contest. The Seahawks forced the Cougars into 20 miscues and outrebounded FCC, 56-47.
FCC will return to the hardwood on February 27, when they travel to Northern Virginia Community College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 P.M.
FCC BY THE NUMBERS
National Ranking: #8 NJCAA D2
Overall Record: 21-4
Final Conference Record: 12-2
Region XX D2 Record: 6-0
Connect with Frederick Community College Athletics online at fccathletics.com or via Facebook (facebook.com/CougarPrideFCC), and Twitter (twitter.com/CougarPrideFCC).
Upcoming Events (Scroll to middle of athletics home page) http://www.fccathletics.com/landing/index
FCC Athletics All Sports Composite Schedule: http://www.fccathletics.com/composite?y=2018&m=02