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Daryl Smith picks up the slack, hits winning shot as Renaissance defeats St. Mary’s 43-41

By: Branden Hunter, March 7, 2015, 4:44 pm

Detroit – Justin Turner, Detroit Renaissance’s top player, was held scoreless yet the Phoenix pulled out a 43-41 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the Operation Friendship consolation game on Saturday at Calihan Hall.

"People think that we like to play that way, but we don’t," said Renaissance coach Venias Jordan. "But it’s hard to score when you miss almost every open lay-up and every shot. Then a kid that averages 20 points a game for three years has zero points, so it’s not like we like to play that way.

"Plus we have been off a week, so that might have had something to do with it too. But this was a good win going into Monday."

Turner was off his game but senior guard Darryl Smith carried the scoring load for Renaissance. Smith, a transfer from Detroit Community, scored 17 points, including five 3-pointers. With 1:30 left in the game Smith hit a 3-pointer to put his team up 43-39 and Renaissance (12-7) held on.

"I just had to put the team on my back," he said. "Justin wasn’t feeling good, and I saw that, so I felt I had to step up as a senior.

"I was just feeling it tonight. I was on fire, and coach told me to just keep shooting it."

And shooting the ball has been what Smith has provided Renaissance all season. Since Smith first put on a Phoenix uniform back in January, they are 9-1. Jordan also coached Smith at Community when he was the head coach, so he knew what he could bring to the table. 

"Darryl has been big all year for us," said Jordan. "He’s our leader, and we needed him today. We haven’t lost much since he’s been with us over here."

Smith came out firing in the third quarter, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game. Then Renaissance took a 34-31 lead with 2:21 to go in the quarter. Partnered with Renaissance’s defensive effort all game, and poor shooting from St. Mary’s, Renaissance was able to do just enough to go home victors.

"The whole game was slow," Jordan said. "It was tied at halftime and we played all man defense, and it was almost tied at the end of the game when we played that defense, and some zone.

"So it was just a really slow paced game, and both teams missing a bunch of baskets. But we tend to win those games. Not many teams have scored 50 on us, so I guess that’s how we have to win."

Alaric Jackson chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds for Renaissance. Jason Boswell led St. Mary’s with 15 points.