By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Tremaine Carter led six in double figures, and the Monroe Community College men’s basketball team went on to defeat Isaiah Christopher Academy, 92-71 in first round action of the Murph Shapiro Classic on George Monagan Court, Saturday night.
Carter scored seven of his team-high 21 points during a decisive run late in the first half.
“We picked up the intensity,” Carter said. “We realized we had the upper hand in the game, so we started to attack more and started to run our plays fluently.”
Carter took an Omar Williams lead in transition for a lay in to give Monroe a 24-18 advantage. After getting ahead of the defense for a dunk, Carter scored in the lane to stretch Monroe’s lead to a dozen at 37-25.
“Our goal was to get out and run constantly,” Monroe head coach Jerry Burns said. “You want offensive pressure. Our offensive pressure doesn’t come in the half court. Our offensive pressure comes from transition.”
The win came one week after the Tribunes fell 102-71 to Schoolcraft College – just the second time a Burns-led MCC squad surrendered 100 or more points in his 27-year tenure.
“Losing that bad it kinda woke us up,” Carter commented. “We had a lot of talks with each other. We decided to buckle down play defense, play better and came out with the win.”
With the game tied at 18, the Tribunes held ICA without points on 15 of its next 18 possessions.
“We played a lot better,” Burns noted. “We were trying to do the things we need to win. Playing unselfish with the basketball. I still would like to see a better effort on the defensive end.
“We’ve given up 80, 80 and 100. At least we’re getting closer to that mark of 60.”
Destin Blunt capped a 7-0 second-half run with a free throw to give Monroe its largest lead of the game at 78-52. Williams started the spurt with a layup. Blunt and Jaylen Hutton followed with back-to-back thunderous dunks, and Monroe put it in cruise control.
Williams handed out five assists in the first half and finished with a game-high eight helpers while committing just one turnover.
“He played within our system,” Burns stated. “I thought a couple of games previously he didn’t. He was trying too hard. Tonight, he played within our system.”
Carter corralled 10 rebounds including four on the offensive end. The Tribunes converted 10 offensive caroms into a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Blunt added 16 points and seven rebounds. Malik Colvin-Seldon registered his first double-double in black and gold with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-8 forward also swatted seven shots.
Hutton chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.
Kewan Platt scored 11 points to go with six rebounds and six assists.
No. 8 Monroe will play Cecil College on Sunday. A 3 p.m. tipoff is scheduled. Cecil lost to Schoolcraft in the first round of the 2016 NJCAA DII Tournament. The Seahawks, which received votes in the NJCAA preseason poll, will be the third team MCC faces early in the season that received preseason notoriety.
Murph Shapiro was affiliated with Monroe CC athletics for more than 40 years. Shapiro coached Monroe to a 329-113 record over 16 seasons. He served as the school’s athletic director from 1991 to 2010. He also was well known as NCAA Division I basketball official serving as a referee for games in the Big East, Atlantic 10 and MAAC.