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ACM controls final 10 minutes, cruises to 95-68 win over Southern Maryland

Feb. 8—CUMBERLAND — Allegany College of Maryland overcame a sloppy start to the second half, dominating the final 10 minutes in a 95-68 victory over Southern Maryland on Wednesday at Bob Kirk Arena.

"First half, I thought we executed the game plan pretty well," ACM head coach Tommie Reams said. "Defensively, we were very high energy, we did a great job of keeping (Ryan) Blakey and (Reggie) Washington out of the paint. I thought we did a great job of anchoring them out of the paint."

The Trojans (20-4, 13-1 NJCAA Region 20) led 41-24 at halftime, but looked like a completely different team to start the second half.

The Hawks (15-8, 5-4 Region 20) opened the half on a 11-6 run, cutting the deficit to 47-35 with 15:38 remaining.

Washington was key for Southern Maryland. He either scored or assisted on three consecutive scores.

Washington had a huge second half after only scoring two points in the first half by putting up 19 in the second half.

He shot 8 of 9 at the free-throw line and finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Southern Maryland kept it around a 10-12 point margin the next couple minutes.

"In the first half, I thought we did a great job at protecting the rim," Reams said. "In the second half, we sent them to the line 13 times to nine in the first half. Our interior defense, we just weren't rotating and talking like we were in the first half."

With 11:10 remaining, Tyson Oghene finished a layup off a Cam Brown assist to extend the Trojans lead to 57-42.

After the play, Oghene was issued a technical foul.

Blakey made both free throws and then assisted Nhine Wills on a layup to cut the deficit to 60-48.

Blakey finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.

Amir Dade, who finished with 15 points and had a block, scored three consecutive times for the Hawks. He hit a pair of layups and a pair of free throws during the run.

The Trojans responded with a 9-2 run to push the lead up to 19 at 69-50 with 7:45 left.

Allegany outscored Southern Maryland 26-18 to end the game.

Lamont Jones had a big second half for the Trojans. After scoring four points in the first half, he had 15 in the second half.

"It was great for Lamont," Reams said. "He had been on a little bit of a cold stretch from the 3-ball. He was shooting around 42% on the season. The past two games, he's gotten good looks but they just weren't falling. Tonight, that lid came off. It was the little stuff, finding the rhythm, shooting the catch-and-shoot 3."

Jones finished with 19 points and three rebounds.

Ron Brown scored 10 points in the second half and finished with 17 and eight rebounds.

Max Thornton scored all 10 of his points in the final six minutes. He hit a pair of 3-pointers and also had two assists and a rebound.

"I've been challenging him to find that confidence," Reams said. "He's got the talent, he's got a great first step. He's got a great pull-up jumper, a great catch-and-shoot 3."

Allegany opened the game with a fast start in the first seven minutes.

Chris Champagne scored seven points and converted a layup off an Oghene assist extending ACM's lead to 16-9 with 14:33 left in the half.

Champagne finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a steal.

The Trojans pushed the lead to 29-13 with seven minutes left on a 13-4 run.

"Offensively, I thought we did a great job in transition," Reams said. "I thought we had a lot of great ball movement and we generated some easy shots out of that."

About four minutes later, a 10-4 run gave ACM a 39-17 advantage with 3:12 remaining in the half.

The Trojans got a little too flashy, trying no-look and behind-the-back passes. It led to three turnovers and seven points for the Hawks.

"I told our guys, we can't be too fancy with the basketball," Reams said. "I thought once we had a big lead, we got a little too cute. We can't have that, it kills momentum."

Allegany held Southern Maryland to 8 of 31 from the field including 3 of 11 from deep.

The Trojans out-rebounded the Hawks 28-9 in the first half and 47-26 overall.

The Trojans shot 15 of 33 overall, but went 4 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Oghene scored 14 in the first half and finished with 26 points and five rebounds. While he shot 11 of 15 from the field, he made only two 3-pointers.

"As soon as we got the book, I told my assistant, look at Tyson's progression," Reams said. "He hit two 3s to open the game, after that it's nine twos and two free throws. That is him understanding his transition from high school catch-and-shoot shooter to college level three level scorer."

Oghene is tied for sixth in the country with 79 made 3-pointers.

In Monday's game over Northern Virginia, Oghene became the 21st Trojan to surpass 1,000 career points.

"It meant a lot, my guys have been trusting me, giving me the ball, trusting me to score," Oghene said. "I'm just grateful for my guys."

Cam Brown scored four points, but added seven assists, two steals and a block.

Allegany hosts Harcum on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bears (19-4) beat Allegany 110-91 on January 30.

Harcum has won the last two regular season meetings, but the Trojans won last year's East District semifinal 82-70.

"They're absolutely a rival," Reams said. "In terms of the path to the NJCAA national tournament, it always comes down to a Maryland school and either Harcum or Monroe. They're in that East District, they're who we're competing with every year."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at jkendall@times-news.com.