The Hancock College Men's basketball team defeated a well-coached Hartnell College team 85-82 Saturday evening.
The #9 Bulldogs were riding a 7-game winning streak, after a great road win against Cabrillo College on January 5th and coming into the contest 14-2 on the season.
Hartnell had a brutal January schedule, playing three games in 4 days against ranked opponents. The Panthers were standing at 7-10 after losing to Gavilan College on Wednesday and Cabrillo on Friday.
The chips were stacked up against the Panthers.
Early in the game it was evident that the Panthers were not fatigued or intimidated.
After a three-point FG by Hartnell, the Bulldogs found themselves down 15-19 at 10:30 of the first half.
An electrifying series, that included a steal and monster dunk by sophomore forward Trenton Mitchell followed by an alley-oop to high-flyer sophomore forward JT Riddick, gave the Bulldogs the lead 19-21.
But unforced turnovers by the Bulldogs and three-point bombs by the Panthers saw the Bulldogs with a slight lead of just one-point at halftime 35-36.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime shooting bombs of their own. Guards Grant Johnson, Glenn Jordan, and Diego Lucas combined to knock down four three-pointers and extended the Bulldog lead to 49-61 with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Bulldogs press and three-point shooting seemed to be wearing Hartnell down but the Panthers would roar back.
A made three and the foul would see the Panthers down 74-78 with just under 2 minutes remaining.
Missed free-throws by the Bulldogs and another big three by Hartnell cut the lead to just one-point with 8 seconds on the clock, 82-83
Forced to foul, the Panthers sent guard Glenn Jordan to the free-throw line. Jordan calmly knocked down both, extending the Bulldogs lead to 82-85.
With 4 seconds remaining on the game clock, the Panthers had one last attempt, getting a good look from the top of the key. But it was off the mark. The Bulldogs escaped with the victory 82-85.
The Bulldogs had five players in double-figure scoring, led by Glenn Jordan and Trenton Mitchell with 17 points a-piece. JT Riddick and Diego Lucas both had 11 points. And Grant Johnson contributed with 10 points.
The Bulldogs are now 15-2 and will host Santa Monica College this Wednesday January 16th at Joe White Memorial Gymnasium. Tip-off is at 5pm.