COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Rochester College delivers some home cooking on Great Lakes College in Garth Pleasant Arena debut

| February 19, 2017 | Comments (0)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — Fifty-five years in the making, but only a couple of hours for the first home victory.

Nationally-ranked Rochester College rolled past visiting Great Lakes Christian College Saturday afternoon in the inaugural men’s basketball game at the Rochester College Garth Pleasant Arena — sending off the Warriors to the NAIA national tournament in style with a resounding 124-45 victory in from of an overflow, sold-out crowd.

“To give our fans — home game and an impressive victory. They deserve it. This atmosphere was awesome,” said RC Coach Clint Pleasant. “We are having the best season (record-wise) we’ve ever had and now w’ere getting ready for our conference tournament.

For decades, Rochester College had played home games at local high schools, renting out gymnasiums at Rochester High, Rochester Adams and Auburn Hills Oakland Christian among others.

Wearing throwback jerseys from the 1970s, the Warriors (28-1) dominated in every facet of the game in posting a 124-45 rout over the Crusaders (1-23).

After Great Lakes College’s No. 3 hit a short-range jumper with 18:46 left in the opening half, Rochester College’s Cap Wilson countered with a layup of his own at the 18:28 mark.

After that, it was all Rochester College. The Warriors responded with a 33-4 run and were in complete control throughout.   

By halftime, RC held a 64-21 advantage before outscoring GLCC 60-24 in the second half.

“There’s not much we can do. We only have 10 active players and not a bunch of walk-ons. Everyone else on our roster is redshirting,” said Pleasant of the lopsided affair. “We pulled out starters for the most part early in the second half. There’s not much else we could do.”

Rochester College landed seven players in double figures, led by Angelo Griffis’ 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Justin Nafso added 18 points and five assists, while Viktoras Merkevicius (!6 points), Paris Pereira (12 points, four assists), Andrew Kline (11 points, eight rebounds), Armand Cartwright 11( points) and Cameron Adams (10 points) had productive nights for the Warriors.

Rochester College shot 48-for-72 (67 percent) from the floor and held a 49-30 edge on the boards.

Tishaun Cooper scored 15 andDarien Burse added 10 points for Great Lakes.

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