Diarra sets single-game rebounding mark in blowout win

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Mohamed Diarra grabs an offensive rebound and puts it back up for two points Friday against Friends University' junior varsity at Perryman Athletic Complex.  Diarra set a new single-game rebounding record for the Broncbusters on the night with 24.

Garden City Community College’s offensive pyrotechnics continued Friday night.

Mohamed Diarra scored 27 points and pulled down a single-game record 24 rebounds, Tone Hunter dished out 11 assists, and the Broncbusters improved to 3-0 with a 113-45 victory over Friends University. This also marked the first time since Nov. 2003 that Garden City has scored 100 points or more in three straight games.

"Sometimes shots don't fall, so you have to rely on your rebounding," GCCC Head Coach, Bill Morosco said afterwards. "I thought our guys did a good job of moving the ball and taking good shots."

Despite coming back down to earth from deep (Garden City was just 10-of-36), they hammered Friends on the glass, outrebounding them 72-21. And Diarra was the main culprit eclipsing Cedric Taylor's 22-year-old mark for most boards in a single game.

"I told these guys before we ever took the floor that this game was 100 percent on our rebounding," Morosco added. "It's funny because I told Mo that my goal for him this season was to average 20 rebounds per game. Is that something we can always attain? No, but I'm glad he got it tonight. When he does that, he's a special player. What makes him so special, yes, he can defend and shoot at a high level, but what separates him is his ability to pursue rebounds."

Garden City, which improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2018, took control from the jump. Josh Nwankwo drilled a three and slipped through the lane for an easy layup, Heru Bligen knocked down a midrange jumper, and Garden City scored 13 straight points to take a 13-2 advantage four minutes into the contest. Zac Taylor followed with a triple from the wing, Diarra wiggled free to the rim; then hit a 3-pointer, and June Lewis swished two free throws to give the Broncbusters their first 20-point advantage.

"I can say I've never seen a JV team come out and play 40 minutes of zone," Morosco explained. "But we scored 113 points against it so, overall, I'm pleased, and it gave us an extended look at our zone offense."

Garden City extended to a 34-point advantage on the heels of a 15-0 run that was polished off by Jabari Williams emphatic slam; then closed the half on a 13-1 surge that put them up, 62-14 at the break.

"There are a lot of things that we haven't installed yet," Morosco said. "But with what we did have installed, I thought our guys did a very good job of executing it."

Defensively, the Broncbusters were just as impressive. They held Friends to just 1-of-23 from downtown and limited them to a single second-chance bucket, building a 70-point cushion after Lewis swished a 3 from the right wing to make it 111-41 with 2:14 to play.

Nwankwo finished the night with 21 points and six rebounds for Garden City. Bligen added 17 points, seven boards, and six assists, and Lewis tallied 16 in 22 minutes off the bench.

Friends JV  14; 31; - 45

Garden City  62; 51; - 113

Garden City is on the road Tuesday at Frank Phillips. Tip off is at 6 p.m.