For Commerce head coach Russ Gregg, having a group play together consistently has been lacking within the program.
So far in 2019, the Tigers are playing really well together, and the team's chemistry was on full display during Commerce's 89-66 home win Tuesday over Oglethorpe County.
The Tigers (2-0) had six players score in double figures, led by Dominic Ricci's 16 points. Creed Dunbar (14 points), Jackson Morris (13 points), Collin Veal (13 points), Ian McConnell (12 points) and Matthew Simpson (11 points) all finished in double figures.
“I thought the way we play together has been something that’s lacking here for a while," Gregg said. "I just thought by having six guys in double figures tonight, that shows you that we’re playing really well together … Overall pleased. I thought we shared the ball well. I thought we went to the line a good bit and did well at the line. Just very, very happy right now to be 2-0."
In the team's season opener, the Tigers were 7 of 16 from the charity stripe. Against the Patriots, the Tigers were 30 of 37 from the line.
Gregg, though, doesn't want his group to be complacent with the 2-0 start. He wants to continue to see growth in the young season.
"I just told them right now we’ve got to keep going," Gregg said. "We can’t be happy that, ‘Hey, we’re 2-0. We scored 89 points.’ It’s a long season. We’ve got to continue to build on it. Get that confidence, because we’re still a young group. We only have two seniors in our rotation at all. So, I feel good about that. Just a good effort all across the board.”
The Tigers found themselves down early. Trailing 12-10, Ricci tied the game with a bucket. Dunbar followed with what ended up being the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the first quarter.
The Tigers ended the first on 12-5 run and carried a 22-17 lead into the second quarter.
Commerce kept the offensive momentum rolling in the second frame, opening with a 9-1 run as Morris, Ricci, McConnell and Moses Mullis pushed the lead to 31-18 during that stretch.
The closest the Patriots would get to the lead before halftime was nine points. Commerce led 39-25 at intermission.
The Tigers' offense went up another level in third quarter as the team scored 28 points to extend the lead. Commerce led by 17 points three different times in the quarter, but when the quarter ended the team was up 67-49.
Seven Tigers scored in the fourth quarter. Like the first quarter, Commerce outscored Oglethorpe County 22-17 to close out the game.