Jacksonville College used a late scoring outburst to rally to claim an 85-80 victory over Temple College on Thursday evening in opening-day play of the Louis Orr Classic at Navarro College.
The win was the Jags' fourth in-a-row — the JC men (5-1) were scheduled to take on another NJCAA Region 5 outfit, Hill College, on Friday night in the classic (results of that game were not available as of press time).
Things did not look promising for the Purple and White as Temple (4-2) led by eight points with eight minutes to go in the game.
But things took a turn for the better for the JC men.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” JC head coach Jody Bailey said. “Thankfully we had the last one.”
Bailey said his team kept its cool late and followed the game plan, even when trailing late against a good team.
“Our guys stayed aggressive and they didn't flinch,” he said. “They didn't back down and they stayed true to their character. We keep telling them just to go out and do what we do and that is exactly what they did.”
The latest JC triumph came against a Temple team that lost for the first time earlier this week when the Wildcats fell to No. 1-ranked South Plains College, 77-74.
“I scouted Temple in that game and I felt like we could play with them,” Bailey said.
Daniel Skinner scored a team-high 21 points to ignite the Jags, with Nimrod Hillard IV adding 13, followed closely by Derrick Modest who knocked in a dozen.
“Daniel (Skinner) has been one of our more consistent players this year,” Bailey said. “I think that it helps (his production) to have such a good cast of players around him.”
Kennedy Eubanks canned 11 points, Chris Singhateh poured in 10 and Tyrell Springer scored nine for the Jags.