Nichols' two-way play lifts Chesapeake to 9-2
'Jacks rout CCBC-Essex as guard scores 20, smothers Culver
WYE MILLS, January 7 Mike Nichols scored a game-high 20 points and that wasn’t even the best part of his game.
Nichols played suffocating defense on CCBC-Essex star Jacob Culver, holding Essex’s leading scorer to 13 points Saturday night. His defense was cited as a key to the Skipjacks’ 83-55 victory by Chesapeake College head men’s basketball coach Dale Becraft.
"Culver’s been their top scorer, averaging about 20 points a game," said Becraft. "We put Mike on him (Culver) and told Mike to hold him under his average."
Nichols and Keith Smothers (19 points) each scored nine first-half points as the Skipjacks opened up a 42-29 halftime lead. Essex couldn’t solve Chesapeake’s man-to-man defense any better in the second half, scoring only 26 points after the break.
"We started using a little bit of zone in the beginning of the game, but switched back to our full-court, man-to-man defense because we were a little sluggish in the zone," said Becraft. "We were playing an eight-man rotation, but we were rotating them in and out and keeping everyone fresh so we could play the full-court defense."
Joe Fletcher added 12 points for the Skipjacks, who improved to 9-2 overall and 3-2 in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference. Most importantly, the Skipjacks are 6-1 against NJCAA Division II Region XX opponents.
Byron Watson led Essex with 14 points.
The Skipjacks play at Montgomery College-Germantown Monday night.
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