Trevor Mbakwe Sees Season End in Playoff Loss

Trevor Mbakwe sees season end in playoff loss

Minnesota Gopher signee Trevor Mbwake, a 6-foot-8 forward from No. 3 NJCAA-ranked Miami Dade (FL) CC, saw his season end with a 97-90 overtime loss to Gulf Coast in the Region 8 Tournament. Mbakwe finished with 18 points and 19 boards, 12 on the offensive glass, in the loss, which snapped the Sharks' 16-game winning streak. Mbakwe figures to be named a first-team NJCAA All-American this month.

Miami Dade jumped out to an 8-3 lead, but Gulf Coast went on a 25-10 run to jump out to a 26-18 margin, their biggest lead in the game with 6:34 left in the first half. Miami Dade countered with the next 11 points. Gulf Coast led 36-34 at halftime, but Miami Dade took its biggest lead of the game 71-62 with 5:37 to go.

Gulf Coast battled back and tied the score at 77-77 with a three-pointer by Derio Green with 19 seconds left. Memphis signee Darnell Dodson hit a three-pointer with five seconds left to make it 80-77.

Miami Dade fouled Green with 2.6 seconds left to eliminate the possibility of being tied by a three-pointer. After Green made a free throw, Miami Dade threw the subsequent inbounds pass out of bounds without it touching anyone, giving the ball back to the Commodores under their own basket. GCCC then tied the score with a lay-in by 6-foot-10 freshman Eric Buckner to send the game into overtime.

Back-to-back baskets by Buckner and Green put Gulf Coast up 88-84 with a little more than two minutes to go in overtime. Will Coleman, who also signed with Memphis, cut the Sharks' deficit to one with a three-point play. However, 6-7 sophomore Brad Reese, who signed with Texas Tech, made four consecutive free throws to extend the margin to four points with 30 seconds to go. Dodson hit a three-pointer nine seconds later to cut the lead to one.

However, Green and Marquis Gilstrap combined to convert six straight free throws the rest of the way while Sharks came up empty.

Green, a 6-foot-2 freshman led all scorers with 38 points, including 27 in the second half. He made nine of 13 three-pointers and was seven of eight from the line. He added five assists and two steals. Marques Gilstrap, a 6-foot-7 sophomore who signed with Iowa State had 27 points for Gulf Coast. He made twelve of 14 from the line and added 12 rebounds. Jonathan Murner, 6-foot-4 sophomore, added eleven points as he made three of five from beyond the arc.

Dodson, a 6-foot-7 freshman led Miami Dade with 25 points, including 18 in the second half and added eleven caroms. Rico Pickett, a 6-foot-4 sophomore who transferred from Alabama, had 17 points and five assists. Coleman, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, finished with 10 points, ten rebounds and three blocked shots.

Mbakwe was named FCAAA Southern Conference Player of the Year. Mbakwe has paced the Sharks to a 26-3 record, with their other losses coming to #1 Chipola and a forfeit. He has shined in the last month, being named NJCAA Player of the Week for games Feb. 1 through Feb. 8. Mbakwe had a game-high 26 points in their regular season finale.

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