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Hamlet's hot hand leads Bucks past Cleveland State

Dec. 5, 2016

Memphis freshman Javion Hamlet scored 27 points and added seven assists to lead the Motlow State Bucks to an 80-70 win over TCCAA rival Cleveland State Saturday afternoon in Cleveland. Classmate Isaiah Hart, from Murfreesboro, was right behind Hamlet with 20 points.

The Bucks (7-3, 3-2) needed the win badly after Friday night's disappointing 82-74 overtime conference loss to Chattanooga State. Motlow will host non-conference Gadsden State (Ala.) Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 29, but was postponed due to inclement weather. The Bucks follow that with a rare morning game on Friday, Dec. 9, when the Cumberland University JV visit for a 10 a.m. tip.

CHATTANOOGA STATE 82 BUCKS 74

Friday night's loss in Chattanooga could play a significant role in helping a young Motlow squad mature as the season rolls into the new year and the conference tournament in early March. Motlow led 40-36 at the half and built the lead to 72-60 with just over six minutes remaining. However, quick shots and a lack of rebounding by Motlow allowed the Tigers to finish regulation on a 12-0 run.

Rashawn Fredericks got Motlow going early, scoring eight of his team's first 10 points, and had 11 at the half. With 10 minutes remaining, the Bucks went on a 14-5 run, building the lead to 12 points before the Tigers made their comeback and forced the extra five minutes. In the overtime period the Bucks' struggles continued and the Tigers won going away.

Motlow shot 47.4 percent from the field for the game, including 9-24 from three-point range, and connected on 11-13 free throws.

Hamlet, who leads the Bucks on the season with a 14.7 points per-game average, led the way with 19 points and nine assists. He leads the TCCAA, averaging 7.3 assists per game. Rashawn Fredericks secured his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He leads Motlow on the season averaging 10.6 rebounds per game.

Jalen Bell and Javel Gillespie each scored nine points, Hart and Kevonte Corley added six points each with Corley also pulling down 10 rebounds, and Aleks Zecevic and Dillon Smith added five points each.

BUCKS 80 CLEVELAND STATE 70

Hamlet and Hart led the charge for Motlow from their backcourt positions, combining for 47 points, while the Bucks dominated the backboards by outrebounding the Cougars 44-24. Despite connecting on only 4-19 three pointers, the Bucks concluded their best weekend of the season at the free-throw line by burying 16-19 attempts.

Motlow stumbled a bit out of the gate, trailing the home team by six points midway through the first half. However, with Cleveland leading 33-27 and five minutes to play before intermission, Motlow ended the half on a 14-4 run and led after 20 minutes 41-37.

The Bucks continued their hot hand to open the second half, using a 30-15 run to build a 71-52 advantage with 5:29 remaining. Cleveland State continued to battle though, as the Cougars fought back to within six points with a minute to play before the Bucks closed the game out at the free-throw line.

Fredericks finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, Corley had six points and 11 boards, and Bell scored seven with six rebounds. Damarcus Williams added seven points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while Gillespie scored three and Smith added two points.

Javion Hamlet
Motlow State freshman guard Javion Hamlet, shown here from a game earlier this season, combined for 46 points and 16 assists to lead the Bucks to a split of TCCAA road games this past weekend, falling to Chattanooga State Friday night in overtime and beating Cleveland State Saturday afternoon. Hamlet, from Memphis, leads the Bucks in scoring with a 14.7 points per-game average and leads the TCCAA conference in assists at 7.3 per game. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.