Nicholson, Skipjacks wear down scrappy Harford
Freshman guard scores game-high 28 in return from broken thumb
WYE MILLS D.J. Nicholson is feeling just fine. If proof is needed, just check the Skipjacks’ latest box score.
Nicholson scored a game-high 28 points Wednesday night in his return from a broken thumb, leading Chesapeake College to an 81-68 men’s basketball victory over scrappy but overmatched Harford Community College. Nicholson had missed eight games after averaging 30 points per contest over the Skipjacks’ first five games.
"It (the thumb) feels great," said Nicholson, who hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points in pacing the Skipjacks to a 49-33 halftime lead. "Coach (Joel Dearring) had us doing a lot of shooting and a lot of running, so I was ready to play."
The Skipjacks (6-8 overall, 4-4 Maryland JuCo) weren’t as ready to play the second half as they were the first. Harford, which only dressed five players, shaved Chesapeake’s lead to a single point twice after halftime, the second time on a Jeff Joynes layup that pulled the Owls within 54-53 with 10:42 remaining.
"We got too comfortable with our lead and forgot we have to close out games," said Jimmie Jenkins, who scored 13 of his 22 points before the break.
"We just relaxed and started playing around too much," acknowledged Nicholson. "We had to kick it back into gear."
The Owls were still within 64-61 with less than five minutes remaining before the Skipjacks found another gear. Nicholson hit a 3-pointer and then came up with a steal on the press that led to a Jenkins trey as the Skipjacks opened up a 70-61 lead. Matthew Jackson (10 points) then hit a layup off a behind-the-back pass from Ryan Waters (seven points) on a 3-on-1 break to stretch the lead to 72-61.
Jeffrey Holmes scored four points, Alphonso Kemp and Louis Simpson added three each, and James Miller and Rodrick Pegram each scored two points as all nine Skipjacks scored.
Brandon Selby and Joynes led Harford (5-10, 1-5) with 26 and 22 points, respectively. Adam Fonygen also reached double figures with 13 points.
The Skipjacks host Garrett College (6-5, 1-3) Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. as part of a doubleheader. Chesapeake’s women’s basketball team plays Garrett in the 6 p.m. nightcap.
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