University Center, MI-

On Thursday evening, the Delta College men's basketball team opened up MCCAA Eastern Conference play against the Macomb Community College Monarchs.  After having success in the non-conference part of the schedule, the Pioneers came into the match-up with a 9-0 record and were ranked number six in the nation.  The talented Monarch team had a 9-3 record but as both fan bases know, whenever these two teams face off, it is guaranteed to go down to the wire.                                  

In a game that went back and forth the whole forty minutes, the Delta men struck first and a Trey Newsham three pointer gave the Pioneers an early 20-15 lead.  At the eight-minute mark, a Chaz Woods floater in the lane gave the Pioneers their largest lead of the night 33-26.  The Monarchs would battle back to tie the game but a Brandon Brackett drive to the hoop gave the home team a slim 44-43 lead heading into half time.             

The Monarchs came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders and turned a 7-0 run into a 50-44 lead.  A Peyton Miller lay-up and a Goliath Mitchell fast break dunk helped the Pioneers regain the lead 54-50.  The lead would continue to exchange hands until a Peyton Miller basket and the foul put the Pioneers up 63-60 with six minutes left.  The next five minutes, the Monarchs would take advantage of several Pioneer turnovers and empty possessions and with one-minute left Macomb held a 73-69 lead.  The Pioneers would respond and back to back baskets by Goliath Mitchell tied the game up at 73.  On the final possession of the game, Macomb would get two good looks at the basket and with .7 seconds on the clock made the game winning shot, stunning the home crowd, 75-73.               

 "We made some small mistakes tonight that ended up costing us in the end," said Head Coach Carlos McMath.  "For the most part, I can't fault our effort.  We executed on the offensive and defensive end very well at times.  When we got away from playing team basketball it hurt us.  We had too many live ball turnovers and took some shots outside the flow of our offense.  In order to get the results we want, we need to keep addressing the small things so that they don't evolve into bigger issues." 

Goliath Mitchell led all scorers with 31 points.  Mitchell also had 8 rebounds.  Trey Newsham added 12 points.  Chaz Woods had a good all-around floor game with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.  The downfall for the Pioneers was that they turned the ball over 21 times.          

The Pioneers (9-1, 0-1) will travel to Schoolcraft Community College on Wednesday night.  The Ocelots (11-0, 2-0) are currently ranked 3rd in the nation.  In their last meeting, during the 2018 playoffs, the Pioneers defeated the Ocelots 73-66 to win the District Championship and advance to the national tournament.