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Published 2/16/2005

Owens Community College Men's Basketball Ranked Fourth in Latest NJCAA Poll

With three games remaining in the 2004-05 season, the Owens Community College men's basketball team once again has its sights set on another conference title, and possibly a national championship. The Express have amassed an impressive 24-3 overall record and are ranked No. 4 in the nation, according to this week's Division II NJCAA poll.

Owens' basketball program has only experienced two losses since December 8. In the months following, the Express men reeled off 12 straight, including victories over Clark State Community College 79-53, Lakeland Community College 74-63 and Columbus State Community College 76-60. The winning streak was the longest of the year for the program. Owens also leads the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference regular season standings with a 10-1 record.

"This is quite an achievement for us, but we've still got a long way to go," said Jim Welling, Owens Men's Basketball Head Coach. "We're very fortunate to have avoided injuries thus far, and we have great team chemistry that keeps us in every ballgame."

In Welling's 19 years as the head basketball coach at Owens, he has guided the Express to many notable achievements including two NJCAA Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. His Assistant Coaches are Leroy King and Jack Trainer.

The Express enjoy the luxury of having nine returning players from last year's squad, including Larry Logan Jr. of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Loy Norrix High School). Logan has scored over 350 points and has hauled in over 275 rebounds for the team this season.

The other returning players to the Express roster include Willie Tisdale Jr. of Lima (Lima Senior High School); Jerimy Robinson of Elkhart, Indiana (Elkhart Central High School); Cal Davis of Opelousas, Louisiana (Marine Military Academy); Steve Switzer of Toledo (St. John's Jesuit High School); Anthony Calo of Westerville (Westerville South High School); Sean Washington of Columbus (Briggs High School); Anton Hubbard of Sylvania (Southview High School), and Jeremy Diekman of Martin (Genoa High School).

First-year players are Kendrick Miller of Muncie, Indiana (Muncie Central High School); Lloyd Kilgore of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Creston High School); DeAuntay Scott of Cleveland (East High School); Brian Sellers of Cincinnati (Western Hills High School); Ronnell Isom of Toledo (Libbey High School); Scott Hughes of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Loy Norrix High School), and Zach Diekman of Martin (Genoa High School).

Owens currently ranks No. 12 overall in the nation in the category of total offense, averaging nearly 87 points per game, and No. 6 in defense, holding opponents to under 64 points per game. Express players have been stellar beyond the arch shooting nearly 40 percent, good enough to have them ranked No. 14 overall in three-point field goal percentage.

During the coming week, the Express will travel to Cleveland to take on defending Division II NJCAA national champion Cuyahoga Community College on Wednesday, February 16. Welling's squad will conclude the home portion of their regular season on Saturday, February 19, by entertaining archrival Cincinnati State Community College. Owens' last regular season home game begins at 3 p.m.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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