Quakers, Heard find their swagger

Heard ties single-game steals record with eight

December 13, 2012

Malcolm Heard's dunk on the opening play set the tone for the Quakers. (photo by Randy Sarvis)

Malcolm Heard's dunk on the opening play set the tone for the Quakers. (photo by Randy Sarvis)

It didn’t take long for Wilmington to find its swagger as they scored on a dunk with the game’s first play and forced 15 Mount St. Joseph turnovers in the first half en route to the 70-53 non-conference victory Thursday at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court. The win snapped the Mount’s three-game winning streak.

“It was a good win for us,” said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. “Coming in they were playing well. It was good to get our first home win. We came out the gates with a ton of energy and it showed on the scoreboard.”

The 15 miscues led to 27 first-half points off turnovers as Wilmington raced out to a 14-point halftime lead. WC forced 19 turnovers on the game that were converted into 34 points.

As easy as Wilmington seemingly turned the Lions into a butter-fingered bunch in the first half, MSJ was just as tough with the ball in the second. Without the benefit of the easy points, the Fightin’ Quakers struggled to score in the opening portion of the second half.

There was a four-minute stretch in which WC was 0-for-3 from the field with two turnovers. Not only were there struggling on the offensive end, but they couldn’t mesh defensively. The Lions scored on four of five possessions to trim Wilmington’s 14-point halftime lead down to three.

Displeased with the effort on the court, Hunt turned to a new bunch on the court. With sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson), junior Klarke Ransome (Richwood, OH/North Union), junior Christian Patterson (Cincinnati, OH/Norwood) and senior Tim Pfeiffer (Clinton, OH/Akron Manchester) joining junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) on the court – WC made its move.

Heard scored six of Wilmington’s 10 points during the Fightin’ Quakers’ 10-0 run that changed the momentum. With the advantage back to double figures and confidence brewing, the Lions never got back into the game.

“I thought that group turned the game around,” said Hunt. “They brought the energy and toughness we were lacking and needed at that point.”

Heard, coming off his worst game of the season, responded with his best. The forward tallied a season-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Eight of his points came off dunks following his steal. He tied a Wilmington single-game steals record with eight thefts. Heard added six rebounds, four assists and no turnovers in the victory.

Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) added 16 points with three rebounds and two assists, while junior Taylor Wellman (Norwood, OH/Norwood) contributed nine points.

Wilmington (4-4 overall, 1-1 OAC) hosts Baldwin-Wallace 3 p.m. Saturday at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court.

Wilmington vs. MOUNT ST. JOSEPH

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Final
Raizk Arena at Hermann Court
Thursday, December 13, 2012
7:30 PM