West Windsor Township, N.J. - Coming off of the good news that they had qualified for the MD JUCO tournament, FCC picked up a non-conference win against the Vikings of Mercer Community College (NJ). The win improves the Cougars to 10-13 for the season.
The first half was unkind to the visiting Cougars as they had a difficult time connecting from the floor. After Keon Claiborne found Tyre Gathright for a jumper to start the game, both teams traded baskets and the Vikings held a 17-14 lead with ten minutes to play. After a Jacob McIntosh post finish and a Marlon White steal and layup, the Cougars regained the lead with 7:37 to play in the half at 20-19. From there, FCC went cold, and Mercer built their largest lead of the game, 35-28, with 1:07 to play in the half. The Vikings went into the locker room at halftime leading 37-31. Gathright led the Cougars in scoring during the half with nine points. White added eight points. Shane DeCellis led with seven rebounds.
The Vikings came out of halftime and connected on a three, taking their largest lead of the game by nine points, 40-31. Over the next three minutes, Keon Claiborne connected on a pair of free throws, Nygel Blake added a jumper, Keith Claiborne had an old fashioned three point play, and Keon Claiborne finished a fast break layup as the Cougars clawed back to tie the score 40-40. For the next five minutes, both teams traded baskets before FCC began to explode offensively and defensively. The Cougars went on a 9-0 run with eight of the points coming from White. At this point the Cougars led, 60-51, with 8:20 to play. Frederick's lead continued to grow as their full-court pressure produced steals and transition opportunities. FCC went on to win 77-63.
White led the Cougars finishing with 20 points and a much needed lift off the bench. Gathright finished with 17 points. Keith Claiborne finished with 13 points and four assists. DeCellis finished with eight points and 13 rebounds. Keon Claiborne added nine rebounds.
The next game will be this upcoming weekend at Chesapeake College for the MD JUCO tournament. Stay tuned to www.fccathletics.com with official date, opponent, and time to be determined as the league awaits the conclusion of today's games. The next home game for the Cougars will be against Northern Virginia on February 28th. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.