Slocum sparks AACC over Rockville, 93-91 Men's basketball

January 22, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel Community College basketball coach Rick Bloom says when his point guard, Gene Slocum, has the ball in his hands, "good things happen."

Two good things happened when Slocum had the ball yesterday -- in the last seven seconds of the game.

Slocum hit a three-pointer to tie the score, then made a layup at the buzzer to give the host Pioneers an improbable 93-91 victory over Montgomery-Rockville.

The Knights overcame a 10-point deficit to take its final lead, 89-87, with 1:30 remaining. Anne Arundel's Gene Pleyo made a free throw, but Rockville's Demond Gibson countered with two free throws to give his team a 91-88 lead with 20 seconds left.

That's when Slocum (23 points), an Annapolis High graduate, came to the rescue. He made a three-pointer with seven seconds left -- the Pioneers' first field goal in more than eight minutes -- and wound up with the ball again when Gibson's inbounds pass was deflected to Slocum at halfcourt by Anne Arundel's Jim Flahaven (18 points).

Slocum, who was targeted by Rockville's box-and-one defense for much of the game, drove to the basket against Gibson and made the layup as time expired.

"I didn't know there was that much time when I got the ball," he said. "I looked up and saw there was 3-point-something left, so I just tried to go by [Gibson] instead of shooting the little jumper."

Anne Arundel's offense consisted of nothing but free throws after a Steve Strauss layup off a pass from Slocum with 8:31 left had given the Pioneers an 83-73 lead. Rockville went on a 12-1 run to go ahead 85-84, and the seven-member Pioneers looked to be running out of gas against a Rockville team that had 12 players in uniform.

"Our execution went down a little bit on offense, and [the Knights] made some tough shots that they were not making earlier in the first half," Bloom said. "Some players started to do too many individual things, and Rockville crawled back into it. We were getting the shots we wanted out of the half-court fTC offense; we just couldn't get anything to go down."

With seven seconds left, it looked as if Anne Arundel would go down to defeat.

"We still have a long way to go, but this is one of those character-building victories," Bloom said. "It shows we have to play hard for 40 minutes.

"Every once in a while in this business, you get lucky, and sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. This was one where we were very lucky."

Pleyo had 22 points for Anne Arundel (13-7, 12-6 in Maryland JuCo), and Strauss added 19 points and nine rebounds.

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