PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team held a one-point lead at halftime over Illinois Central, but the Cougars surged ahead in the second half and picked up a 93-78 win over the Hawks in their home opener.
The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 advantage in the early going but the Hawks (0-3) slowly clawed back in the game. Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) provided a big boost off the bench in the first half, scoring 15 points. His basket with 6:50 to play in the half cut the deficit to 26-24.
The Hawks took their first lead of the game at 38-37 on a Tyler Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows )jumper with 1:47 to play in the half and led 42-41 at the break.
In the second half, the Cougars pushed the tempo in the early going, leading to many fast break points. Callen Boddie's layup off a steal put the visitors ahead 63-55 with 11:33 to play and forced Harper head coach Tony Amarino to call a timeout.
The timeout did not benefit the Hawks as the Cougars continued to push the pace and went on a 18-6 run to open up a 81-61 advantage with under six minutes to play, their largest lead of the game.
Harper got within 12 points at 83-71 with 3:31 remaining on a Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) layup, but the Cougars went on a 7-0 run capped off by a Devyn McGuire 3-pointer to put the game out of reach.
For the Hawks, Walsh led the team with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Sexton was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line and scored 14 points while Michael Rose (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Rolling Meadows) also scored in double figures with 10 points and a team-high five rebounds.