Recap: Ball Security & Balis Key In Win Over Bulldogs

Recap: Ball Security & Balis Key In Win Over Bulldogs

BLUE BELL, Pa. - Nicko Balis scored a season-high 29 points and the host Mustangs committed a season-low 11 turnovers in snapping a four-game skid Saturday with an 88-82 win over Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Region XIX action.

While the final score was the ultimate reward, coach Denny Surovec was especially pleased with the one area that has haunted his team during the first half of the season: turnovers.

"We did a better job of taking care of the basketball," Surovec said. "When we do that, we have a chance to win games."

This was one of those games as Thaddeus Stevens cost itself with self-inflicted wounds -- including 19 turnovers and a pair of technical fouls. Those mistakes proved costly in a game the Bulldogs led 47-44 at halftime.

Fifteen of Balis's points came from the beyond the arc, a place where the second-year player feels quite comfortable. Not to be outdone was the Bulldogs' Jonathan Perez, who drained five three-pointers as part of his team-leading 21 points.

Montgomery hit on just over 38 percent of its field goals, making 31 of 81 shots. Thaddeus Stevens shot 40 percent from the field, converting 29 field goals. The Mustangs held an 8-7 edge in three-point connections and an 18-17 edge from the foul line.

Thanks to 13 rebounds from Kevin Woods and 8 more from Marcus Tillery, Montgomery held a 46-41 rebounding advantage.

Both teams placed four players in double figures in what was a tightly-contested game.

In addition to Balis, the Mustangs got 15 points from Kanen Horton, 10 points and 8 rebounds from Jalil Shafi, and 10 points from Tyler Armstrong.

Aside from winning the turnover battle, Surovec said his team's effort in the second half was the difference in the game.

"We were able to make a few halftime adjustments and executed much better in the second half today," he said.

The Mustangs (3-7, 3-3) visit Bucks County Community College on Tuesday, with tip-off set for 7 pm.

- By Bob Kent, Sports Information Director