By Mario Diaz and Taylor Moore
Hagerstown, Md. – Trailing by 11 at halftime, top-seeded Baltimore City used a 16-4 run to start the second half and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to defeat College of Southern Maryland tonight 73-66 in the final quarterfinal match of the Maryland Juco Men's Basketball Tournament.
Desmound Rene' led the Panthers with 15 points on 5-10 shooting. He also chipped in five assists.
Ndongo Ndaw finished with a double-double on 14 points (6-11) and 14 rebounds, while Randy Rickards had 12 points (4-6), seven rebounds and four assists off the bench.
The Hawks' Jerome Savoy had a game-high 23 points on 6-18 shooting, including going 10-10 from the free throw line.
Quinton Gilliam was second for the Hawks with 15 points (6-13) and added five boards, two assist and two steals.
Darnell Taylor came off the Southern Maryland bench to chip-in 10 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting performance.
Baltimore City came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but were dominated by Southern Maryland throughout the first half.
The Hawks did a good job making heavily contested shots and had great ball movement.
The Panthers had their moments in the first half, as they blocked three straight shots at the beginning of the game and outrebounded the Hawks 23-13.
However, while Baltimore City dominated the glass, they had trouble scoring the whole half.
Southern Maryland seemed unstoppable for the first half as they went on a 24-5 run from 7:57 to 1:05.
The Hawks shot 46.9% from the field and caused the Panthers into 10 turnovers to take a 40-29 lead into the break.
Southern Maryland saw its 11 point lead evaporate, as a resilient Baltimore City team.
The Panthers were able to make adjustments at halftime and began the second half on a 16-4 run to take the lead 45-44.
After quickly taking the lead back with a made three, Southern Maryland later pushed on with an 8-0 run before Baltimore City responded with a 9-0 run of its own to retake the lead 60-57.
With 4:02 remaining, the game was tied 64 and the Panthers' Ahmin Williams hit a clutch three and Baltimore City never trailed again. Williams finished the game with five points, hitting his only three-point attempt.
The Panthers hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to help seal its 73-66 victory.
Baltimore City will play Cecil College tomorrow evening in a semifinal match. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.