Lumberjacks bear-ied under

A few minutes had some big consequences for the Alpena Community College women’s basketball team on Wednesday.

A five-minute stretch in which it was outscored 19-4, turned a close game into a rout and left Alpena playing catch up the rest way as it lost to Mott 67-44 at Park Arena.

After Lauren Seibert sank a triple to give ACC (4-14, 0-9 MCCAA Eastern) a 13-12 lead with 8:32 left in the first half, the Lumberjacks went without a field goal for nearly 15 minutes.

Mott (14-5, 6-3 MCCAA Eastern) initially struggled from the field in the opening minutes of the game, but turned things around with 5:18 left in the half, beginning a run that would ultimately give the Bears a sizable lead for the rest of the contest.

“I think the thing that changed it was our defensive intensity,” Mott coach Letitia Hughley said. “I think they did a better job defensively and we always tell them if we do a good job defensively, our offense will come.”

A large part of that offense came from Porsha Fluker who twisted her way through ACC’s defense for a game-high 31 points. Fluker scored nine points during the Bears’ first-half run.

The Lumberjacks managed just four points, all from free throws, the rest of the half and struggled to keep up with a rejuvenated Bears’ offense. Mott missed a number of close shots early in the half, but outrebounded ACC by a wide margin. On one possession, Mott missed the initial shot, but then grabbed rebounds three or four times for second chances.

Jasmine Gilispie and Marquetta Green each had 11 points for Mott and Racqule Hernandez added 10. Green also had 14 rebounds.

Mott also made the most of its chances at the free throw line, sinking 17-of-24 shots while ACC shot just 10-of-24.

Mott led 32-17 at the half and kept its momentum going into the second half, opening the period on a 7-0 run to stretch its lead to 39-17.

“Just keep shooting. That’s the only thing you can do is tell them to keep shooting the ball and let it fall and part of it was because we weren’t going up strong with the ball; we were just throwing it up there,” Hughley said.

The Lumberjacks played better in the second half and kept better pace with the Bears, but ACC didn’t have enough offense to offset it’s first-half lull.

Seibert led the Lumberjacks with 11 points and Allison Burley added 10.

Fluker got Mott’s offense going to open the second half and did a good job setting up teammates down the stretch.

That didn’t stop Fluker from making a free impressive plays of her own. Twice in the second half she blew past the Lumberjacks’ defense for lay-ups underneath.

“Porsha is a very good point guard,” Hughley said. “She sees the floor very well, she passes the ball well, she shoots the ball well, so that’s a good addition when you have someone like that on your team.”

ACC will host Oakland on Saturday.

MOTT (67): Penn 2 0-0 4; Mayes 1 0-2 2; Fluker 11 7-12 31; Green 3 5-6 11; Hernandez 4 0-0 10; Gilispie 3 5-6 11.

ALPENA (44): Seibert 3 3-4 11; Smith 1 0-0 2; A. Nowak 3 2-6 8; E. Nowak 1 0-0 2; Burley 2 4-10 10; Cummings 2 0-2 4; Hipkins 1 0-0 2; Monticello 1 0-0 2; Wollan 1 1-2 3.