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OCC Men's Basketball

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Published on Feb 14, 2012

By: Marvin Goodwin / The Oakland Press
LIVONIA — Teams that hang around have a way of turning things their way in basketball. But the Oakland Community College men's basketball team turned things their way Saturday, disposing of pesky Schoolcraft College in an MCCAA Eastern Conference basketball game at Schoolcraft. Aaron Hayes scored 26 points and made 14-of-19 free throws, and James Chappell and Anthony Welch each scored 14 points to lead the Raiders to a 90-86 victory over the stubborn Ocelots, who wouldn't seem to go away. "Schoolcraft has a very good team and program," Raiders coach Antoine Joubert said. "They didn't beat us this year so I knew it was going to be a tough game." The Raiders, who've won six straight games, are still in first place in conference play, tied with Mott, who has won 10 straight. Each has a 12-1 record in league play. The Raiders (20-3 overall) came out flying the first half, establishing their game from the start. Chappell hit a pair of high-arching triples in scoring 10 points in the first half. Njoku Ugochukwu, a 6-11 center, blocked three shots as the Raiders kept control and led by as many as 13 points in the first half. OCC led 46-41 at the half, even though Schoolcraft had the advantage in three throws. The Raiders, though, scored 21 points off triples. But Schoolcraft surged in the second half, slowly whittling down the Raiders' lead. OCC led only 60-59 with 11 minutes to play. OCC, though, went on a 9-2 run and, Seydou Ba's pass through traffic found Chappell for a tough layup as OCC took a 76-66 lead with 6:28 to play. Hayes visited the free throw line often in the final four minutes, and although he was only 5-for-8, it was enough to frustrate the Ocelots, who let chunks of precious time run off the clock in not helping their cause. In the final minute, each team had their moments, including LenDerrick Witcher, who hit a triple with 14 seconds left. Schoolcraft hit another triple in the final seconds for the final margin of victory.
OCC, once ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation among NJCAA Division II schools, hosts St. Clair Wednedsay at the Highland Lakes campus.

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