''That hit the spot.''
That's what a very pleased coach Mike Cordovano said after his Jamestown Community College Jayhawks defeated the Genesee CC Cougars, 93-75, in an NJCAA Region 3 Division II men's basketball game on Thursday night.
It was quite the opposite of a very negative Cordovano following a very disappointing loss to Mercyhurst North East just two nights earlier.
That's because the Jayhawks were quite the opposite of the team that played poorly on Tuesday night. And they won after trailing by six points at halftime and were still behind by three with 14 minutes left to play.
''We're down at half and we tried a couple of different things,'' Cordovano said. ''We did some things that we haven't done in a long time - be down at half and come back and play a wonderful second half.''
Even though the Jayhawks hit 17 3-pointers, it was his team's defense that Cordovano wanted to talk about.
''Defensively, since we played Columbus State (on Nov. 16), a nationally-ranked team, and beat them at their place, I haven't even mentioned a player defensively,'' he said.
But Cordovano was mentioning one on Thursday night - sophomore Kenny Stokes.
''Kenny defended No. 11 (Vaughn Boler) and he's probably the leading scorer in the region,'' Cordovano said about Genesee's 6-foot-4 freshman who is third in Region 3 Division II with a 21.6 average. ''Kenny just denied him and the kid's got four inches on him. At their place he destroyed us (32 points), he just destroyed us.''
On Thursday night he still scored 25.
''He had 25?'' Cordovano said. ''God bless him, he earned them. I'm amazed he got 25 because they were looking for him all night and I don't think they could get the ball to him enough. That's the toughest 25 I've seen in a while.''
Boler was the leading scorer in the game, but right behind was JCC's Michael Forrest with 23 points, which included 7-of-12 from 3-point range.
When did Forrest know it was his night?
''When I knocked down the first two in the corner in the second half,'' he said.
He had hit two 3s in the first half and then five in the second half.
And it was a first for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident.
''I never had seven in a game before,'' said Forrest, who remembered having five in a high school game.
Davonte Dunham had five 3s and finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks,
In all, there were 25 3-pointers in the game.
Adam Walker had the first one for JCC and when Dunham and Forrest hit back-to-back treys JCC had an early 15-8 lead.
Cordovano expected his team to be shooting from long range.
''We knew Genesee does nothing but play two (zone),'' Cordovano said. ''So we've been working a lot on it in practice and Michael shoots the heck out of the ball. What was neat was that Adam and Davonte got him the ball on the ball reversal and Michael was just sitting there catching and shooting all night.''
The Cougars responded with 13 straight points, which included three 3-pointers by Edward Blackwell, who finished with six in the first half. That gave Genesee a six-point lead which it still held at halftime, 43-37.
In the second half, Dunham went on to score 17 points, including five 3s, for JCC while Genesee countered with Boler, who had 13 of his 25 points. But Blackwell of the Cougars had only two points after hitting half a dozen 3s in the first 20 minutes.
''We played that one zone in the first half and he got in our gaps and hit those threes,'' Cordovano said. ''We just couldn't play that one zone in the second half. We played man so we got somebody in front of him and that was the difference in Blackwell.''
The Jayhawks were trailing for most of the second half and finally took a four-point lead with six minutes left.
Their lead was down to two with five minutes left and then JCC wrapped up the game by going on a 16-0 run until the final buzzer. But it took a while to convince Cordovano that the Jayhawks had wrapped up the victory.
When his team led 92-75 with 1:35 left, Cordovano said to assistant coach Bryan Hodgson, ''We're going to win.''
He said he wasn't sure until then because, ''We can score in bunches and we can give them up in bunches.''
Going on a run to nail down a win in the final five minutes was an eye-opener because in the past with a win within their grasp at the end, the Jayhawks have usually let it get away.
''That 16-0, I don't think that's something we've done all year,'' Cordovano said. ''It's a little early, but maybe we're on to something. Maybe they realize their defense down the stretch won them the game. We'll find out Saturday.''
On Saturday at 3 p.m. the Jayhawks play another Region 3 Division II home game against Erie CC, which is ranked ninth in the nation with a 18-3 record overall and is 8-1 in Region 3 Division II.
Last Saturday, Erie defeated Monroe CC, which had been ranked fifth in the nation, 92-81. That loss dropped Monroe to 14th.
Tyreek Jewell just missed a double-double for the Jayhawks with 14 points and nine rebounds. He also had six assists. Omar St. John had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Blackwell 7 0-0 20, Gray 4 0-0 8, Coombs 4 0-0 8, Boler 10 5-5 25, Meredith 5 0-0 12, Young 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 2-2 2, Sohei 0 0-0 0, Totals 30 7-7 75.
Dunham 8 1-2 22, Walker 1 0-0 3, St.John 6 6-8 19, Reyes 0 0-0 0, Newell 1 2-2 4, Jewell 4 5-6 14, Forrest 8 0-0 23, Bentham 0 0-0 0, Stokes 3 0-0 8, Williams 0 0-0 0, Sterling 0 0-0 0, Totals 31 14-16 93
Halftime-Genesee 43, JCC 37. 3-point goals-Blackwell 6, Meredith 2, Dunham 5, Walker, St. John, Jewell, Forrest 7, Stokes 2. Total fouls-Genesee 13, JCC 10. Fouled out-Coombs.