Feb 21, 2015
By Chuck Livingston
The Evening Times Sports Editor
MSCC Sports Information
Even when the sun shined on MSCC last Saturday afternoon, something bad followed not far behind it. In a 93-83 loss to Arkansas Baptist College at The Dog House, the defining moment may have also doubled as the most exciting one, as well.
Promising MSCC freshman Kaylon Tappin ripped off a Buffalo ball-handler at halfcourt and raced to the hoop for a basket that would trim an 18-point Arkansas Baptist lead to just four points with less than 6 minutes remaining.
Tappin, who scored a game-high 22 points, skied for a dunk that ignited the MSCC faithful, but pulled up on the rim and was whistled for a technical foul. Arkansas Baptist would take advantage of the break, building their advantage back to 10 points before MSCC's final rally got them back within 4 points with 2:23 left following a Joe Dye 4-point play.
But the Greyhounds couldn't get over the hump and were forced to foul, and Arkansas Baptist knocked down free throws down the stretch to clinch the win.
"It was a frustrating loss for us as a team, because we never got into any sort of offensive rhythm," MSCC head coach Chris Parker explained. "I do feel like we can grow from this game, despite the loss. Anytime you play a team that's just as athletic, just as strong, and more experienced, the opportunity is there to grow as a team."
More troubling for Parker was MSCC's sputtering offense. Against Arkansas Baptist, only 6 of the 11 Greyhounds to play in the contest registered a basket. In addition to Tappin's 22 points, Shaquille Culbreath added 19, Dye hit for 14, Justin Harris tossed in 11, Trent Steen went for 9 and Tasmania Jones scored 8.
"Over the past several weeks, in competitive games, we've seen our scoring drop," said Parker simply. "That's par for the course at this time of the year, what with teams being in better shape and more able to execute defensive strategy. Our issue is that only a certain number of our players have proven capable of scoring the ball on a consistent basis."
MSCC missed their first 9 field goal attempts of the game, and shot a chilly 8 of 22 in the first half and the Greyhounds trailed 35-28 at halftime. Arkansas Baptist took its first double-digit lead of the game with 11:35 left in the first half, when they claimed a 17-7 advantage.
All five Buffalo starters scored in double figures, led by Dexter Porchia and Deonta Thomas with 21 points apiece. Porchia was held to 2 for 11 shooting but managed to go 15 for 18 from the free throw line.
MSCC is back at it tonight when they are scheduled to host Rhodes College JV at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting.