The Bucks (2-1) cruised in their first game in Niceville Friday night, handing Lincoln Trail, Illinois, a 95-48 defeat. Saturday the Bucks, ranked No. 9 in the preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, dropped an 81-64 decision to the host team, Northwest Florida State, ranked No. 2 in the preseason. Motlow opened the 2017-18 campaign with a 79-60 win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands last Wednesday.
Isaiah Hart led four double-digit scorers with 21 points against Lincoln Trail. Hart connected on 5-6 three-point shots and 7-10 shots from the field. The Murfreesboro sophomore also added three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
All 14 players who dressed got into the scorebook as the Bucks surged to a 48-22 halftime lead. Motlow shot 51.4 percent from the floor, including 44.8 percent from behind the three point line and connecting on all six of its free throw attempts.
Derrick Rayford scored 13 and added three assists and two steals, Rashawn Fredericks scored 10 with eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and Leo Castillo added 10 points on 4-5 shooting and had three boards and two steals.
Dillon Smith led the Bucks in rebounding with 10 and added eight points, three assists and two steals. Nick Marshall scored six points and had nine rebounds, David Fraser had five points with four rebounds, and Zaire Swaby added four points and blocked three shots with three boards.
On Saturday, the Bucks faced one of the nation’s most established powerhouse programs in Northwest Florida State. The Raiders could hardly miss as they opened the first half by hitting 11-14 three pointers on their way to a commanding 51-24 halftime advantage. The Bucks hit just 9-26 shots in the first half, although a better second half left them with a 37.9 shooting percentage for the contest.
Smith, who has been Motlow’s most consistent scorer in the first week of the season, connected on 5-8 three pointers and 7-12 shots to lead the Motlow scoring with 19 points and three steals. Rayford added 17 points and hit 3-4 from three point range, while Fredericks had nine points and led the Bucks with five rebounds.
Hard dished out eight assists, with Kevonte Corley adding three, but the Bucks only tallied 13 assists for the game. Motlow ended up shooting 37 percent from three-point range and shot 62.5 percent from the free throw line.
After their trip to Jackson Friday night, the Bucks and Lady Bucks will head to Columbia, where they will face Columbia State on Saturday. The women’s game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. with the men to follow.
Both Motlow teams will play their home opener Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Copperweld Arena. The Lady Bucks will host the Martin Methodist College JV at 5:30 p.m., and the men will host the Cumberland University JV at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic contests on the Moore County campus.
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