Less than two months after suffering an 80-71 loss at John Wood Community College. The Tigers and Blazers faced off again. This time, the Tigers had the home court advantage and the story of the game was much different.
When the two teams met on November, 20 at John Wood, The Blazers Cory Miller Jr. had a big game with 34 points in the Blazers' win.
When the two teams met on January, 9 at MCC, The Tigers held Cory Miller Jr. to five points in the Tigers' win, zero in the first half.
The game got away from John Wood early as they were trailing 9-0 after less than five minutes of play. It was 20-8 Tigers halfway through the first half and 33-10 with five minutes left to play. The first half ended with the Tigers in control 43-15.
The second half saw the Tigers relax a little bit and allow the Blazers to get comfortable in some of their offensive sets. With the 28 point lead at halftime, the Tigers had some room for error. A relatively mundane second half played out and the Tigers walked away with a 74-53 victory.
Locking down Miller Jr., who was averaging slightly over 20 points per game entering Wednesday's contest, was an emphasis for the Tigers in preparation for their first game of the second semester. That job was largely put on the shoulders of redshirt sophomore, Juan Coffi. "We often expect Juan to defend the other team's best guard or forward and tonight was no different. We kind of took some help-side responsibilities off of him tonight. He did a really good job of sticking with Miller through most screens, but our other guys really stepped up any time they had to switch on to him also and made it tough on him tonight." Said MCC Assistant Coach, Ryan Flack.
In addition to shutting down Miller Jr., the Tigers shot ten percent better from the field than they did during their November, 20 matchup. Eduardo Lane, at center, led the way for the Tigers with 20 points on 9-10 shooting from the floor and was 2-2 from the free-throw line in 20 minutes of play. His backup, Bassirou Ndiaye continued the strong play from the Tiger bigs with 13 points while shooting 86%. Goran Vidovic added 15 points as he went 5-9 from beyond the arc.
The Tigers are back in action on Wednesday, January 16 when they host the Warriors of Indian Hills Community College.