COD Men’s Basketball losing skid extends to three games

Losses to Triton and Milwaukee Tech highlight poor week for Chaps

James Kay, Sports Editor

Triton destroys COD 88-68 in conference matchup

Before tip-off during last Saturday’s game, College of DuPage’s men’s basketball team was all smiles during their pregame warm up. Their smiles would quickly disappear, as they seemed doomed from the moment the whistle blew. COD center Moter Deng was unable to tip the ball back to his teammates, as it ended up in the hands of Triton guard Percell Washington. In a span of five seconds, Washington bypassed COD’s defense, who were not in position to defend him, rose above the rim and threw it down for the one-handed slam. COD’s players trailed behind the airborne Washington and spectated the backboard-shaking dunk. They would have no time to sulk, however, as a sea of white and crimson jerseys flooded their end of the court immediately after the basket. Triton’s full-court press stifled COD on their first possession and forced a shot clock violation. This would set the tone the rest of the night, as Triton’s size and strength were too much for COD.

Triton’s point guard, Eric Gillespie, made four of his first four three-point attempts in the first quarter. Gillepsie would lead his team in scoring with 21 points. The Trojans overall high efficiency on offense and good ball movement gave them opportunities underneath the basket for the majority of the first half.

Going into the second half down 55-30, COD made adjustments defensively that worked well for them. Instead of letting Triton back them down in the paint, COD backed off Triton’s three-point marksmen and made Triton beat them from the perimeter. With 7:15 left in the game, COD cut the lead to 14 points after COD’s center, Moter Deng, made a layup in the post. They would, however, come back to earth as Triton tightened up their defense and forced COD to cause a lot of dumb turnovers in the final five minutes.

COD outscored Triton 38-33 in the second half despite losing by 20 points. Head Coach Ed Reed was pleased with his team’s overall effort in the loss. “I liked our effort tonight much more than I liked the effort on Saturday,” said Reed. I thought we did some good things against a division-two team with full scholarships. “I’m not too disappointed. I thought we played with heart, and I think we are in good shape. I think the most important thing is these next two games in practice and try to get ready for Milwaukee Tech.” Thankfully, COD will not have to play Triton in the playoffs since the Trojans are a division-two team.

Other notes:

-COD forward, Christian Mathis, led COD in points (21) and assists (5) while adding seven rebounds in the loss. It was a strong performance by Mathis who was only COD player to get it going on offense.

-COD guards shot a miserable 13 percent from the field (2-15) but three assists and five rebounds to his stat line.


COD falters in closing seconds in 85-82 loss vs. Milwaukee Tech.

In a game that featured multiple technical fouls, raging head coaches and high drama, it looked as though College of DuPage would snap their two-game losing streak. Their high level of intensity never waned during last Saturday’s game against Milwaukee Tech. Unfortunately, that was not enough to take out the 18-4 Stormers.

In the first two minutes of the game, the officials issued two technical fouls against both teams. Milwaukee Head Coach, Randy Casey, was full-throttle screaming at the officiating crew after forward Evan Burlingame picked up a technical for arguing with an official. On the next play, COD guard, Fredrick Joshua, blocked M.T.’s Thomas Hood Jr. and taunted him, which resulted in another technical.

Both teams kept trading baskets during the first half, as they both were evenly matched. COD was up 23-21 with nine minutes left before M.T. went on a 16-4 run, which gave M.T. a 35-27 lead. COD worked their way to the basket their next couple of possessions. COD guard Marcel Phillips weaved through traffic and was able to convert a layup while drawing a foul. After converting the free throw, M.T.’s lead was cut to three with five minutes remaining. Both teams hit a groove offensively as they continued to go back and forth. Mathis hit an incredible spinning layup with 40 seconds left to tie the game at 43. M.T. was able to make two baskets before entering halftime with a 47-43 lead.

The second half turned into the Moter Deng show, as he carried his team throughout the half. Deng especially took his game to a new level, displaying his strong post moves. Down 61-53 seven minutes into the half, Deng drew a foul while hitting a fadeaway layup to reenergize COD. On the next possession, Deng snatched a defensive rebound that would lead to a three-pointer by guard Lawrence Stewart. After grabbing another defensive board, Deng dove out of bounds after a muffed pass, and was able to get it to a wide-open Keith Dockett for an easy lay-in to cut M.T.’s lead to one.

With 6:14 left, COD’s Maxwell Lewis gave his team the lead after converting an and-one to make it 73-70. COD had the momentum going in their favor and looked unstoppable.

And then they came back to earth.

M.T. went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to regain the lead. Phillips took two horrific layup attempts that didn’t go near the rim during that stretch. Two clutch running layups by Stewart and two made free throws by guard Anthony Taylor brought the game back to a tie. Both teams traded turnovers before M.T. made a jump shot and two free throws to give them a 83-79 lead with 29 seconds left. Joshua, who had been hot from three-point range all game, hit a three from the left side of the arc to keep COD in the game. COD’s lack of size wasn’t exposed earlier in the game like it had in previous matchups until they allowed Hood to rise above the rim and dunk in what would seal the deal for M.T..

COD had one last chance with 11 seconds left to send the game into overtime. With no timeouts left, COD ran up the court and worked the ball around the perimeter before finding an open Taylor. Taylor, at the top of the key, hoisted a three-pointer that was short by three feet. Joshua was able to get the rebound and tossed it back to Taylor. Taylor had space again to shoot and, literally, came up short once again. His shot hit the front of the net before the buzzer sounded.

Head Coach Ed Reed was discouraged after the game. “I thought we played well, but we made some mistakes at the end,” said Reed. “We had an opportunity to open up the game, but I’m proud of the way my guys played.”

COD (15-7) has lost five of their last eight games after starting their season 14-2. They go on the road next game against Madison (8-13), as they hope to jump-start their team a month before the playoffs.