University Center, MI-
While it is still early in the conference season, the Delta Pioneers had a lot on the line Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers had an opportunity to do something that had never been done in school history, start a season off 10-0. They also had a chance to end a four game drought against conference foe Oakland Community College. The last time that the Delta College men's basketball team had beaten the Raiders was back in the 2014-2015 season. The Pioneers came out highly motivated and cruised to a 96-69 victory.
The Delta men dominated right from the start and within the first two minutes of the game had built a 10-2 lead. The lead hovered around eight points until Torandis Mack found Leonte Parker for a corner three pointer. Over the course of the next five minutes the Pioneers went on a 14-3 run. A Cedric Moten three pointer followed up by a Jalen Fykes put back dunk and the Delta lead was expanded to 39-18. With four minutes to go in the half, a steal by Virgil Walker Jr. led to a transition bucket for Moten and the Pioneers had their largest lead of 44-20. The end of the half would finish with both teams trading buckets and the Pioneers would head to the locker room with a 47-25 lead.
The Raiders would cut the Pioneer lead to seventeen, 65-48, with ten minutes left in the game. The Delta men would answer and a Fykes dunk followed up by four straight points by Moten pushed the lead back to 71-48. The Pioneers would finish the game strong and cruise to the 27 point victory.
"It was important that we set the tone right from the start," said Head Coach Carlos McMath. "Oakland is a team that gets up and down the court and thrives off of their defensive intensity. We knew we had to limit live ball turnovers and limit them to one chance on the offensive end. For the most part, we did that and controlled the tempo allowing us to get the victory this afternoon."
The Pioneers had a balanced scoring attack with three players getting into double figures. Leading the way was Cedric Moten with 23 points. Martel Handley added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Athletic wing, Jalen Fykes had several highlight reel dunks and finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
"Getting to 10-0 and setting a school record speaks volumes about the hard work these guys have put in," said McMath. "I am very happy for the guys and our program. The best part of it all is that our team realizes there is plenty of work to still do and we haven't come close to reaching our stride yet."
The Pioneers (10-0, 2-0) will travel to Henry Ford Community College (11-3, 2-0) on Wednesday evening. Henry Ford is coming into the matchup red hot after beating Mott and Schoolcraft to start the conference season. Game time is 7:30 pm.