The Delta College men's basketball team came into the match-up against the Henry Ford Community College Hawks with a lot of confidence. The Pioneers were off to their best start in school history and were looking to push their winning streak to eleven straight games. The Hawks had a different idea in mind and were determined to protect their home court. After beating Mott and Schoolcraft, they were looking to start the conference season off with a perfect 3-0 record.
In the first half, the Pioneers couldn't get anything going on the offensive end. At the ten minute mark of the first half, Henry Ford had built up a 19-9 lead. Over the next five minutes the Hawks expanded their lead to fifteen points by going on an 11-6 run. With three minutes remaining in the half, Pioneers guard Martel Handley scored two straight baskets and cut the Henry Ford lead down to eleven, 32-21. As the half ended, the Pioneers would head to the locker room down 39-26.
Henry Ford came out of the locker room determined to hand the Pioneers their first loss and after the first two and a half minutes built the lead up to 48-29. The Delta men would not go down without a fight and at the fourteen minute mark of the second half had cut the Hawk's lead down to ten, 50-40. The Pioneers wouldn't get any closer and the Hawks cruised to a 75-56 victory.
"When you put yourself in a hole early, it takes a lot of effort and energy to get out of it," said Head Coach Carlos McMath. "Against a good team, you can't afford to get down fifteen to twenty points and expect to bounce back from that."
All night long, the Pioneers had a tough time scoring the basketball. They shot only 34.8% (23-66) from the field and 50% (8-16) from the free throw line. The 56 points was nearly 40 points less than their scoring average of 95.1 points per game. The Pioneers were also averaging over 20 assists per game and were limited to only 9 in the loss.
"You have to give credit to Henry Ford because they disrupted our flow on the offensive end," said McMath. "Our transition offense is predicated on our defensive pressure, getting steals, and limiting our opposition to one shot per possession, and we didn't create those opportunities tonight. When we got into our half court sets, we didn't have ball movement and player movement. We did a lot of standing and watching on the offensive end."
The Pioneers (10-1, 2-1) will look to bounce back when they travel to Mott Community College on Saturday afternoon. The Mott Bears (12-4, 1-1) are currently ranked 16th in the country and are coming off a huge road win over Schoolcraft. The match-up between the 11th ranked Pioneers and the Bears will tip-off at 3:00 in Ballenger Fieldhouse on the campus of Mott Community College.