For the Harcum junior college men’s basketball team, when it comes to playing ranked teams, the third time was the charm.
After losing their previous two matchups against teams in the top 25 of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I poll, Harcum finally took advantage of a big game. Jordan Goodman led the way as Harcum took down conference opponent and No. 15 Monroe (N.Y.) College, 84-71, at the Our Mother of Good Council gym on Thursday night.
“We lost to Central Florida when they were No. 1 in the country early in the season; we lost to Shelton State who’s right now No. 14, we lost on a shot with five seconds to go and beat us. And now the third time, third crack at a ranked team, you can just see how much we’ve grown, how much we’ve learned, our guys are really maturing and getting better every day,” Harcum coach Drew Kelly told CoBL. “And as a coach, you love to see that.”
Kelly certainly enjoyed watching Goodman shoot the ball against Monroe (15-3, 0-1 Region XV).
The 6-foot-9 sophomore came out on fire, knocking down three early 3-pointers, and didn’t let up all evening. He would finish with a game-high 32 points, shooting 10-of-15 overall and 7-of-11 from 3-point range–throwing in 10 rebounds for a double-double for good measure–with coaches from Temple, Oklahoma State and others in the building.
“He was in the zone tonight, there was no question about that,” Kelly said. “Jordan’s capable of doing that at any moment, he’s 6-9, he can shoot over top of people and he’s got the confidence to make big shots. It was really good to see, and if we ever put it all together I think we’ve got a helluva team.”
Goodman certainly came up big on a night where many of his teammates struggled to find a consistent shot.
Ibn Muhammad went 5-of-5 overall and 6-of-6 from the line for his 17 points, while Miami-bound center Ivan Uceda was 5-of-10 for 13 points; aside from those three, the remaining seven players shot just 8-of-29 (27.6 percent), including a 3-of-15 performance by the bench.
“The scary thing is, I don’t even think we played that well,” Kelly said. “I mean, we played okay, but we had stretches where we turned the ball over, we missed some box-outs a couple of times and didn’t rebound, and Jordan bails us out by going 7 of 11 from 3-point range.”
After trailing by double figures for most of the first half, Monroe came out hot out of the locker rooms. Devin Martin (team high-21 points) knocked down three 3-pointers after going scoreless in the first half, and a bucket by Jaelyn Johnson (18 points) with 11 minutes remaining made it a 55-53 Harcum lead.
But a big 3-point play by Uceda helped restore some of the lead, and then Goodman burst out for eight straight points to push the lead back up to 68-55 with 7:45 to play.
“We opened up a double-digit lead there, we did it with some hot shooting, you knew things were going to bounce out a little bit,” Kelly said. “They made the run at us, and I was really proud of our guys because they handled the adversity, they didn’t freak out, they didn’t stress out, they kept executing.”
Harcum (15-2, 2-0) now has another Region XV game next Tuesday when they play at Globe Institute of Technology (N.Y.).