Recap: Turnovers The Difference In 108-95 Loss At HACC

Recap: Turnovers The Difference In 108-95 Loss At HACC

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Montgomery's men's basketball team committed a season-high 33 turnovers in suffering its third loss of the season, a 108-95 defeat at Harrisburg Area Community College in Region XIX play Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs led 15-8 early and trailed 55-51 at halftime. But in the end, careless ballhandling proved to be the decisive factor.

"We can't win games against quality opponents by throwing the ball all over the court," said Head Men's Basketball Coach Denny Surovec in referencing the mistakes. "We had another good start to a game, and had good energy throughout, but we continue to hurt ourselves by turning the ball over too much."

The Mustangs committed 37 turnovers combined in the first two games of the season and cut the number to 14 in their only win of the season against Lehigh Carbon.

On Saturday, Montgomery allowed HACC too many easy baskets off turnovers and wasted an otherwise solid effort.

Jalil Shafi and Kevin Woods led four players in double figures with 22 points apiece and combined for 13 rebounds. Jalen McDonald chipped in 16 points and Kanen Horton added 14 points. Anthony Patterson collected a game-high 13 rebounds for a Mustangs team that stands in an early 1-3 hole to start the season.

The Hawks placed five players in double figures, including a game-high 24 points from Aboubacar Camara and 23 points from Ashtin Cooksey-Easter, both of whom came off the bench for Harrisburg.

The home team shot 48 percent from the field, with Montgomery converting 40 percent of its shots. Each team struggled from beyond the arc as the Mustangs made eight of 24 and the Hawks eight of 22. Montgomery's Nicko Balis, one of the team's better three-point shooters, was 2-for-9 from three-point range.

The Mustangs were slightly better from the foul line, converting 75 percent of their chances compared to HACC's 69 percent. Harrisburg held a 42-40 edge in the rebound department.

But the key stat line was turnovers. And that was the difference, and the bigger concern for the Mustangs' men moving forward.

"We need to fix this quickly if we are going to turn our season around," said Surovec.

Next up for his team: a home game Tuesday against the rival Spartans of Northampton Community College. Tip-off is set for 8 pm.

- By Bob Kent, Sports Information Director