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Freshman Jordan Smith Paces BCC Men Past Indian River, 69-52
January 23, 2013 - It's difficult to find a place to begin describing a basketball game such as the one the Brevard Community College men played on Wednesday night in the Melbourne Campus gym.
BCC scored only seven points in the first 11 minutes and 36 seconds and didn't crack double figures until freshman Jordan Smith – remember this name – scored on a jump shot off a loose ball with 7:31 to play in the first half.
BCC then went on a run keyed by Smith and sophomore co-captain Nyles Evans to take a 25-19 lead at halftime over archrival Indian River State College.
BCC began the second half slowly but Smith sparked the Titans with five three-pointers to erase a five-point Indian River advantage for an eventual 69-52 victory that belied how close the game actually was for a long time.
The triumph improved BCC's record to 18-4 overall and more importantly 4-0 in the Florida College System Athletic Association Southern Conference. Indian River fell to 17-5 and 2-3 in the conference.
Smith finished the night with 29 points for BCC including 7-for-10 from the three-point line. He's 13-for-16 in his last two games.
"I love (Smith) I'm glad we have him," said a beaming BCC head coach Jeremy Shulman who admitted to panicking when BCC was moribund early in the first half.
"I'm glad we have (freshman) Juri Gunjina (who finished with 12 points and five rebounds). (Freshman) Julian Adams stepped up big, I want to make special mention of Julian stepping in for (injured sophomore) Gary (Gaskins) and playing some absolute great minutes, doing all the little things.
"What a team effort," Shulman added.
For his part Smith admitted to struggling as a freshman making the transition from high school to college. Always being a scorer he had to increase his overall basketball IQ to meet the demands of Shulman and the game as a whole.
And on Wednesday it all came together.
"I was feeling it, I was feeling good tonight," Smith said. "I had confidence in myself and the team did too. Tonight I showed what I could do."
Smith's effort resonated with Evans who still remembers his own freshman season.
"First semester is tough for a freshman, especially with Coach Shulman, he's stays on the freshmen pretty tough," Evans said. "Tonight, even the last game, he (Smith) was hitting. It's just that freshman curve. He turned the corner now. He's really a sophomore."
Unlike Shulman, Evans wasn't worried about BCC's slow start.
"I felt as if we were getting hot, especially JD (Smith) obviously," Evans said. "There were a lot of in and out shots, I wasn't too worried."
As for the second half, BCC figured out Indian River's zone defense.
"We kind of got used to it and started hitting shots, they started falling," Evans said. "After one fell JD obviously kept going, kept hitting."
Next up for BCC is a 2 p.m. Saturday conference home game against Broward College.
Admission to all BCC home games is free.