By: Aaron Meekins, FCC Men's Basketball Assistant Coach
FREDERICK, Md. - Frederick had another opportunity Friday night to secure a win against a good opponent against (16-5) Prince George's Community College. The game was a defensive clinic by both teams, as the Cougar defense held PG to 56 points in regulation including 25 turnovers. Frederick, who had 56 points in regulation, committed 24 turnovers in a very evenly matched contest that went into an extra period to decide. In the end, PG came out on top after the extra five minutes, 75-67.
Frederick got off to a cold start, as the Owls of PG started with a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the game off of six Cougar turnovers. The Cougars fought back against the Owls' full court pressure, and by 10:00 the score was 18-12, Owls. From there both teams traded baskets, and as the Cougar were able to beat the Owls' pressure they found themselves getting closer on the scoreboard. A half court steal by Keon Claiborne led to a fast break connection with brother Keith Claiborne who finished with an old fashioned three point play and tied the score at 29-29 with 1:02 to play. However, PGCC was able to score the last baskets of the half to take a 33-29 lead into the half.
The Cougars came out determined in the second half and tied the score at the 14:29 mark at 37-37. Both teams continued to trade baskets as the Owls would build a small lead only to find the Cougars to come back and tie the game. With the score tied at 46-46, Anthony Isaac hit two from the free throw line and Keith Claiborne connected on a slashing drive to give the Cougars their first lead of the game at 50-46 with 5:00 to play. The Owls made a small run of their own over the next minute, regaining the lead at 51-50. From there, another free throw from Isaac and an Isaac assist to Keon Claiborne found the Cougars back on top, 53-51 with 3:46 to play. While both defenses clamped down the rest of the way, the Owls were able to tie the game at 56-56 to force overtime.
The Owls won the jump in the extra period but quickly turned it over to Isaac who converted to put the Cougars on top. Twenty seconds later, Keith Claiborne found Cyree Dunnell for a three pointer to put the Cougars up 61-56 with 4:25 to play. Over the next minute, the Cougars turned the ball over three times and the Owls were able to regain the lead, 63-61. From there, another turnover led to the Owls getting 67-62 lead with less than two minutes to play. The Cougars were forced to foul, and the Owls were able to connect and hold on for a 75-67 victory.
Isaac finished the game with his second double-double in a row with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Keith and Keon Claiborne finished with 11 points apiece. Keon Claiborne also added three steals. Stacy Gipson came off the bench to contribute eight points and four blocks.
The Cougars fall to 7-12 on the season, 5-7 in conference play. FCC will return to action Wednesday night (2/1) at Hagerstown Community College. Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM.