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BASKETBALL: Derek Murphy’s 29 points, Leads Warren Mott Over L’Anse Creuse, 79-55

By: Branden Hunter, January 14, 2014, 8:31 am

WARREN, Mich. – It wasn’t quite the performance Michael Jordan put on in his "Flu Game", but Derek Murphy did his best to imitate it. 

Battling the flu bug, Murphy dropped 29 points and 11 rebounds on L’Anse Creuse, in a 79-55 win. It wasn’t pretty, but he made it work.

"It really didn’t bother me," he said. "Once my adrenaline started running, I felt a little bit better."

Murphy only had seven points at the half, but his team held a comfortable 32-21 lead, thanks to senior Kenny Goins. The 6-foot-8 Goins was unmatched down low, contributing 23 points and 19 boards of his own.

"That’s what we expect out of both of them every night," head coach Jeffrey Olind said. "Those two have been putting those numbers up all season long."

Goins had more points than L’Anse Creuse had after one quarter, with 11 and was tough on the glass. He had a double-double by the time halftime came and was absolutely dominant in the paint. 

Mott didn’t play a flawless game altogether, but it was enough to beat L’Anse Creuse. A Max Cook bucket made it 21-17 with 3:00 left in the second, but an 11-4 run by the Marauders to end the half put the game out of reach.

"We lost focus a few times," Olind said. "And we weren’t consistent as we need to be."

After only scoring seven points in the first half, Murphy really turned it up in the third. He scored 14 in the quarter, including seven straight points that made it 39-21 with 4:44 left in the third.

"I played good today, even though I had to play the point guard," Murphy said. "I was just trying to get Kenny (Goins) involved, because they couldn’t check him in the paint."

One bright spot for L’Anse Creuse was junior Max Cook. With 2:05 remaining in the third, Cook made a lay-up that made Mott’s lead 49-35. But the Marauders closed the quarter on an 11-1 run, capped off by a Murphy 3-pointer to take a 60-36 lead after three.

The fourth quarter was even both for teams, as they both scored 19, but by then the game was out of reach for the Lancers. 

Sophomore Tavin Allison added 10 points off the bench for L’Anse Creuse. James Washington scored 10 points for Mott and Stephon Johnson chipped in 6 points and 4 assists.

"In the first half we turned it over too much," Olind said. "We had lapses where we stopped talking and denying. But I knew that if we did those two things that they couldn’t handle our pressure."