One night earlier, the Anne Arundel Community College men's basketball team had taken a sizable lead into the locker room at halftime.
Last night, against Hagerstown Junior College, the Pioneers were carrying a heavy burden.
They were down by 12 points after 20 minutes, and their hottest shooter and leading rebounder, Sylvester Clarke, had been sitting with three fouls.
The Pioneers had stayed close for a while against a bigger, faster and deeper opponent, but it wouldn't last. Visiting Hagerstown ran away in the second half, getting points from all 13 players in a 119-78 win.
Four Pioneers scored in double figures, led by Aderio Jones with 18 points, including 9-of-10 from the line. Hagerstown's Tashad King scored 22.
"When you talk about depth, they went all the way down to the end of the bench," said Anne Arundel coach Mike Tummings, whose squad had beaten Cecil CC, 113-78, Wednesday to break a five-game losing streak.
"They have a lot of guys who can play, and their size is hard to compete against."
Hagerstown (12-3) showed why its only losses have been to nationally ranked opponents, scoring almost at will in the first half on uncontested drives to the basket. It was 25-for-41 from the floor in the half, with only a few shots coming from the outside, and 10 players scored.
"Everything was inside off the glass and on transition. I'd say 100 of their points came inside. Good teams know we're weak inside," Tummings said.
Anne Arundel (3-7) led twice in the half, the last time 9-8 on a jumper by Clarke (15 points, nine rebounds). But former Annapolis point guard Juan Johnson provided Hagerstown with a lift off the bench, picking up a couple of assists and sinking a three-pointer.
Clarke had 11 points and five rebounds before leaving with 9:53 remaining and his team down, 22-18. Hagerstown took advantage, stretching its lead to 42-30 with 3:45 left.
"That was one of the turning points of the game," Tummings said of Clarke's departure. "That really hurt us, not having him in there."
The Pioneers' Nat Scott hit a three-pointer and Jones made two free throws to make it 42-35, but that's as close as they would get.
"No one will ever be able to say we don't play hard and hustle," Tummings said. "But this is a tough way to start the new year."