By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---Jay Marquette scored some critical points to break open a close game in the second half to help the No. 17 Express men defeat Lorain County CC 80-59.
After taking a 33-27 lead into the half, the Express saw their lead disappear in the first four minutes of the second half as Lorain led 36-35 with 16:06 left. After a lay-in from Delshawn Bell gave the Commodores a three point lead with 15:55 left, Marquette took control.
The sophomore scored on a lay-up and hit the free throw for a three point play to tie it at 38. After Tony Boykins hit back to back lay-ups to put the Express up 42-41 with 14:52 left, Marquette hit a three to stretch the lead to four.
Then, after Lorain cut the lead back to two, Marquette hit another three to make it 48-43 with 13:56 left. Following a jumper by James Kelly, Marquette hit his third 3-pointer of the half to put the Express up 53-43 with 12:21 remaining.
The Express would stretch their lead to as many as 24 with 3:48 remaining while cruising to the win.
Marquette finished with 14 points in 15 minutes. He was 5-for-8 overall from the field, and 3-for-6 from the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, Kelly added 16 points, along with eight rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes. He fought foul trouble most of the night while finishing 7-for-13 from the field.
In a game that featured five ties and six lead changes, the Express dominated a few key categories including points in the paint (46-22), points off turnovers (32-12) and bench points (38-7). The Express forced 28 turnovers by the Commodores, while only committing 14 of their own.
Overall, the Express shot 30-for-71 (43.7 percent) from the field, while Lorain County finished 22-for-59 overall (37.3 percent).
Lorain County was led by four players in double figures including Bell (14), Doug Harper (14), Greg Fite (13) and Donald Hughes (11). Fite added a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Express (2-2) are now off until Friday when they open action in the Owens Tip-Off Classic against Kellogg Community College at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they will battle Jackson Community College at 8 p.m.