Contact: JT Burton
Nov. 25, 2015
Stephaun Adams scored 11 consecutive points midway through the second half and Darius Joell scored 21 for the game as the Motlow Bucks blew open a close contest late and beat Northeast Mississippi 79-68 Tuesday night at Copperweld Arena. Motlow has now won five straight games.
The Bucks (10-2, 5-0) will now break for the Thanksgiving holiday before resuming play on Tuesday, Dec. 1, when they host the Tennessee Wesleyan JV team at 5:30 p.m. That will be the final home game of 2015, and the last until Motlow hosts the Martin Methodist JV team on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.
After jumping out to a 10-2 early lead, Motlow season scoring leader Jaylen Barford picked up three fouls and was forced to the bench. The visiting Tigers took advantage and tied the score 34-34 with 1:20 remaining in the half, which ended with Motlow clinging to a 36-35 lead.
Barford, who went into the game leading the nation in scoring, picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and again took a seat on the Bucks' bench. The visitors whittled away at the Motlow lead, finally cutting it to 54-53 with 7:20 left to play. That's when Adams took over.
The lanky guard, who has already signed to play his final three seasons with Tennessee Tech, hit back-to-back 3-pointers, then a 2-point basket and three consecutive free throws to give the Bucks a comfortable 67-55 lead with 4:10 remaining in the game. Adams finished with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Joell was consistent throughout the game, scoring 10 in the first half and 11 in the second to lead the Bucks in scoring. He becomes the first player other than Barford to lead Motlow in scoring this season. He added four steals and hit three 3-pointers.
Despite limited playing time before fouling out with two minutes remaining, Barford still scored 14 points and pulled down four rebounds. After scoring 30 or more points in seven consecutive games, the Arkansas signee has been held to 16 and 14 in Motlow's last two contests.
Ryan Jones added nine points and three assists for the Bucks, JaQualis Matlock scored eight and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds along with three steals, Reid Pierce had five points and five rebounds, Jade Patrick scored four with a pair of steals, and Jared Pearson added two points.
The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-32 and forced the visiting Tigers into 36 turnovers. The Bucks connected on an amazing 20-21 free throws and shot 43 percent from the field.
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