Bucks will host Jackson State in home opener Friday

  Marcus Lacey, a redshirt-freshman from Madison, Ala., announced his arrival to the junior college basketball world Friday night, scoring 26 points with 16 rebounds during Motlow’s 76-71 loss to Georgia Highlands, The Bucks will host Jackson State this coming Friday and Columbia State Saturday.  Motlow Staff Photo.

Marcus Lacey, a redshirt-freshman from Madison, Ala., announced his arrival to the junior college basketball world Friday night, scoring 26 points with 16 rebounds during Motlow’s 76-71 loss to Georgia Highlands, The Bucks will host Jackson State this coming Friday and Columbia State Saturday. Motlow Staff Photo.

The Motlow Bucks will play in front of their home fans Friday for the first time this season when they host TCCAA rival Jackson State at 5:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena. The Bucks will then turn around and host Columbia State at 2 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge to Motlow home athletic events.

The Bucks (0-0, 1-3) are coming off a pair of close road losses to solid basketball programs. Motlow traveled to Rome, Ga., this past weekend, falling to the host school Georgia Highlands 76-71 Friday night, then dropping a 77-76 overtime decision to USC-Salkehatchie Saturday afternoon.

This coming Friday is the first night of conference play for all teams in the TCCAA. Both Columbia State and Jackson State are 2-1 on the season. Jackson State, formerly known as the Generals, has changed its athletics name to the Green Jays.

Motlow’s Marcus Lacey, a redshirt-freshman from Madison, Ala., was spectacular for the Bucks in Friday’s loss to Highlands, scoring 26 points on 10-15 shooting and hauling down 16 rebounds along with four steals and three assists.

The Bucks trailed 40-32 at the half and struggled to make up the difference in the final 20 minutes. Motlow shot 41.4 percent from the field but hit only 6-23 three pointers. Highlands wasn’t much better, shooting only 46.2 percent from the floor, but connected on 26-34 free throws while Motlow hit 17-24 from the foul line.

Darius Harding added 17 points and six rebounds for the Bucks, with Josh Greer scoring 11 and pulling in seven boards. Leo Castillo scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, and Josh Endicott scored seven with six rebounds.

Saturday against Salkehatchie, Motlow trailed 31-27 at the half but fought back and ended regulation tied at 66. The two teams swapped the lead back and forth through the overtime, with the Saluqis making the play at the end to get the win.

USC-Salkehatchie shot the ball well, hitting 50.8 percent from the field, while the Bucks struggled at 38.8 percent, including 6-21 from the three-point line. Motlow was solid again at the free-throw stripe, connecting on 18-23 attempts.

Castillo hit 8-15 from the field, including 3-5 three pointers, and led the Bucks with 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds, and notching four steals and three assists. Endicott scored 13 with nine boards, Bryce McBride scored 11 with three assists and two steals, Greer scored 11 with three rebounds, Lacey had seven points and seven rebounds, and Kin Webster scored six with seven rebounds.