Tigers not satisfied with blowout win
Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball coach Brynjar Brynjarsson did not look like his team put up 100 points after Saturday night’s win over Quakerdale Promise Academy.
The Tiger coach was happy with certain aspects of the outcome but still wants to see more. A lot more.
“We just need to play the way we are capable of playing, and we have not done that for awhile now,” Brynjarsson said.
Even so, four Tigers finished in double figures and Matej Delinac put in 20 of his team-high 29 points after halftime as MCC blew out the Eagles, 101-79, at the Student Activity Center.
The Tigers turned a tight game into an eight-point advantage early in the first half and led by 11 at the break before quickly pushing that lead to 20 in the first few minutes of the second half.
“We played with more emotion, and we picked up our pace during that stretch,” Brynjarsson said. “We also shot the ball better. But we need to start doing the little things. We can’t get down when shots don’t fall. We can’t stop talking on defense when things go bad.”
The Tigers were frustrated with a 2-for-16 performance from 3-point range in the first half but turned it around in the second 20 minutes.
MCC (15-4) doubled up its 3-point total rather briskly in the second half and buried seven treys in the final 20 minutes to pull away. The Tigers were 7-of-14 in the second half from behind the line.
One positive that came out of not shooting the ball well in the first half was that the Tigers used a more balanced attack to grab an advantage. Eight different players scored in the first 20 minutes and four reached double figures at game’s end and another Tiger scored nine.
“The balanced scoring was definitely a positive,” Brynjarsson said. “But that is pretty typical for us. We have gotten four to double figures and only scored 60 before.”
Delinac led all Tigers with nine points at halftime but really got it going in the second half. That half included a 5-for-7 performance from behind the 3-point line. The Canadian also grabbed eight rebounds and delivered five assists in the non-conference victory.
“It was good to see that, and we needed that from him,” Brynjarsson said of Delinac’s big game. “He needs to play like that and is capable of that.”
The Tigers shot 47 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Eagles 57-34. They grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, too.
“We did a nice job on the boards, but we need to convert more of those into points on the offensive end,” Brynjarsson said. “We still need to hit our free throws. That is going to come back and get us down the road, just like it did on Wednesday night.”
The largest lead of the contest was 28 points but the Eagles (7-21) never got closer than 12 in the final 20 minutes.
Chris Caird started slow and grabbed two fouls in the first half but still finished with 18 points, while Troidell Carter added 14 points and seven boards. Jamyles Coleman and Marlon Williams sparked the bench with 12 and nine points, respectively. Rahiem Holloway also finished with five points, seven rebounds and five helpers.
Kenny Battle Jr. finished with a game-high 30 points for the Eagles, while Dante Bailey added 19 and Daniel Hurtt scored 12.
Quakerdale Promise Academy is located in New Providence. … The Eagles’ game against MCC on Saturday was their second contest of the day. They played St. Johns Military Academy out of Milwaukee in their host tournament earlier in the day. Coach Bradley Matney said his team lost that game by a similar margin. … Battle Jr. is the son of Kenny Battle Sr., who played on Illinois’ 1989 Final Four squad. … MCC’s Lamont Adair played for Quakerdale last season. He had six points and seven boards against the Eagles on Saturday. … The Tigers’ 101 points scored was 23 points better than their season average of 78. … The Tigers travel to NJCAA No. 3 Iowa Western on Wednesday. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.