FREDERICK, Md. - The Stevenson men's basketball team committed a season-high 25 turnovers as the Mustangs could not climb out of a 22-point first half deficit as Hood posted an 90-82 MAC Commonwealth victory Wednesday evening at BB&T Arena.
The Mustangs (10-7, 2-6 MAC Commonwealth) have dropped three straight games following their five-game win streak and have dropped the last three games in the series versus Hood. Conference rivals since 2006, the Blazers lead the all-time series, 15-12, including 6-5 at home.
Stevenson did not score its first points of the game until the 15:17 mark after freshman Evan Joseph made a three-pointer to get the visitors on the board. The Mustangs, who fell behind 11-0 early, missed its first five shots of the game and recorded seven turnovers in the opening five minutes. The team finished the opening half with 17 turnovers with Hood scoring 27 points off those turnovers.
Following a made free throw by the Blazers (7-10, 3-5 MAC Commonwealth) to push their lead to 17-5, the visitors went on a 13-1 run to tie the game with 7:45 remaining in the opening half. But it was all Hood the rest of the half, outscoring Stevenson, 24-4 to take a 20 points halftime lead. The hosts shot 46.7 percent from the floor in the opening half and scored 20 points in the paint.
In the opening three minutes of the second half, Hood pushed its lead to 22 points on three separate occasions but the Mustangs slowly began chipping away at the lead and got their deficit to back under 10 points with 12:03 remaining in the half. Stevenson twice got the deficit to just four points but that would be as close as the visitors would get as the Blazers rebuilt their double digit lead.
A three-pointer by senior Danzel Wright followed by a three-point play the old fashioned way by freshman Kobe Colston got the Mustangs within five with 2:41 remaining in regulation but the Blazers went 11-for-14 from the free throw line the rest of the way.
Over the last three games, Stevenson has averaged just 26.3 points in the first half compared to 52.3 points in the second half. The Mustangs scored 60 second half points versus Hood after being outscored 42-22 in the opening half. Defensively, the team has allowed 80-plus points in four straight games.
Wright, who entered the game ranked 25th in Division III in scoring, was held to just three points in the opening half where he went just 1-for-7 from the floor and 1-for-4 from beyond the arc. He finished with a game-high 23 points after shooting 7-for-13 in the second half, including 5-for-9 from the three-point line. Wright has reached double figures in all 16 games this season and has led the team in scoring in all but one game this season. It is also his 13th game scoring at least 20 points.
Junior Jaylin Johnson finished with 19 points after going 14-for-20 from the free throw line and has reached double figure points in six straight games and 13 overall. Johnson also finished with five assists for the third consecutive game and ranks third in the conference with 3.8 assists per game.
Both Colston and sophomore Mark Terrell finished in double figures, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. Terrell added a team-high seven rebounds.
The Blazers, who scored 27 points off turnovers, were led by Jared Ruiz who recorded 20 points.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, January 20 when the Mustangs host a MAC Commonwealth contest versus Arcadia beginning at 3:00 p.m.