BCC TItans Rally To Top Hillsborough

By  //  December 13, 2012

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Second-Half Adjustments Lead Huge Comeback

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Brevard Community College men’s basketball team stormed back from a 24-point first-half deficit to defeat visiting Hillsborough Community College 85-74 on Wednesday night and improve to 11-3 on the season.

Freshman forward Mike Kirkland had 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in BCC’s come-from-behind victory over Hillsborough on Wednesday. (Image courtesy of BCC)

The grinding victory took all the guts and gumption BCC had to offer after trailing 35-11 with 7 minutes and 22 seconds to play in the first half.

Hillsborough fell to 7-6 on the season.

“We were awful first half,” BCC head coach Jeremy Shulman said. “Defensively we were abysmal. We couldn’t have done anything worse.”

BCC chipped away at the lead to trail 50-36 at the half. And once the whistle blew to begin the second 20 minutes it was a different game. BCC clamped down on a Hawks team playing an eight-man rotation that suddenly couldn’t find the basket and couldn’t avoid committing fouls and limited Hillsborough just 24 second-half points while scoring 49 of its own.

“The second half we made some adjustments,” Shulman said. The guys actually listened a little bit. We held them to 24 second-half points. That was the key to the game.”

BCC got the lead down to single digits, 59-50, on a basket by freshman Mike Kirkland. BCC sophomore and tri-captain Addison Spruill scored two of his team-high 19 points to cut the lead to 59-52 and then the game became the Luka Pajkovic show, again.

Following up on his 25-point break-out performance in BCC’s 87-82 come-from-behind upset of Tallahassee Community College on Sunday the sophomore Pajkovic sank two three-pointers to bring BCC within three, 61-58.

BCC tied it at 63-63 on two free throws from Spruill with 10:07 remaining and it was back-and-forth until Pajkovic’s third three-pointer of the half made it 73-66. Pajkovic followed up with a key assist to freshman Jure Gunjina for a 75-66 lead with 6:37 to go.

Baskets by Kirkland and Pajkovic, who finished with 15 points, ballooned to lead to 78-66 and basically sealed the proceedings.

Sophomore tri-captain Nyles Evans gutted out 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Kirkland had 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Gunjina, working his way back from a knee injury, had 15 points and eight rebounds.

Sophomore tri-captain Gary Gaskins added four blocks in the triumph that avenged a 94-81 Hillsborough victory on Nov. 10 in Tampa.

“We came out ready to play,” Pajkovic said of the second half. “It’s good for us to be a good second-half team but we’ve got to play from the beginning. Once conference starts, better teams, you’ve got to play 40 minutes, not for 20 minutes.”

As for his game: “I like to step up and put the team on my back and make good plays when my team needs it.”

Spruill echoed Shulman’s sentiments about BCC’s defensive effort.

“We were out of synch in the first half,” Spruill said. “Defensively if you stop their shooters you stop everything.”

BCC concludes the 2012 portion of its schedule against TAAG Academy of Tampa at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Melbourne Campus gym. BCC routed TAAG 112-59 in Melbourne on Nov. 12. Game admission is free.