University Center, MI-
Monday evening the Delta College men's basketball team hosted the Olivet College Comets. Coming into the matchup with the Pioneers, the Comets had beaten Lansing Community College and had found success early on in the 2017-2018 season. The Pioneers knew they would have to handle the Comet pressure and match their intensity if they wanted to get the win and remain undefeated.
The Pioneers got off to a quick start and a Deon Gray steal led to a Martel Handley lay-up putting the home team ahead 26-12 at the twelve minute mark of the first half. For the next ten minutes, both teams traded baskets and consecutive buckets by freshmen big men Evan Anderson and Peyton Miller kept the margin at 15 points with two minutes to play. The Pioneers would finish the half strong and take a 54-36 lead into the locker room.
Jalen Fykes set the tone for the second half with a thunderous dunk on the first possession. Fykes scored the first six points out of the locker room and led a 10-0 run, pushing the lead to 64-36. Freshman guard, Torandis Mack had 7 second half assists and led the Pioneers to their fifth straight victory, 102-70.
"We came out tonight and handled Olivet's full court pressure and that is ultimately what got us the victory," said Pioneer head coach Carlos McMath. "We need to continue to work on cleaning up the defensive glass and limit our opponent's second chance opportunities. Olivet had fifteen offensive rebounds and we want to keep our opposition to less than eight. Rebounding will definitely need to be a focus in the upcoming week."
The Pioneers dominated in the paint having a 76-30 points in the paint margin for the game. The Delta men also found success by moving the ball on the offensive end and had a season high in assists with 29.
Leading the way for the Pioneers were Martel Handley and Jalen Fykes with 14 points apiece. Leonte Parker and Evan Anderson each had career highs scoring 12 points each. Deon Gray added 10 points and Virgil Walker Jr. had 10 rebounds.
"I was happy to see production from a lot of guys tonight," said McMath. "Evan and Leonte have been waiting for their chance to get some extended minutes and tonight they showed us, as a coaching staff, what they are capable of doing."
The Pioneers men head into the Thanksgiving break 5-0. They will be back in action on Friday, December 1st when they host Lansing Community College. Tipoff is 7:30 pm at Pioneer Gymnasium.