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With visiting Anne Arundel Community College leading 40-35, College of Southern Maryland men’s basketball head coach Alan Hoyt called a timeout with three-and-a-half minutes left in the first half of Tuesday night’s contest so that his team could regroup.

The timeout would bode well for CSM, which exploded for a 13-2 run capped off by freshman guard Steven Cole’s long three-pointer as time expired heading into the locker room.

“In the timeout I said if we’re going to be a good team we have to be able to guard people and we put five guys out there that did,” Hoyt said. “That three-pointer was huge and gave us some momentum. We brought back the same guys in the second half and the level stayed there. The guys that didn’t start the second half figured out that they had to guard somebody if they wanted to play.”

“I saw that I didn’t have much time on the clock and Juwan [Cole] passed it upcourt to me and I just threw it up and it went in,” said Cole, who finished with 17 points, including three three-pointers. “That shot really gave up some momentum in the second half and we took it from there.”

The Hawks took a 48-42 halftime lead and never looked back, outscoring Anne Arundel 38-25 in the second half to cruise to the 86-67 victory.

CSM (6-2 overall, 1-1 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) knocked off a hot Anne Arundel team that had won seven of its first eight games.

“They were 7-1 and we knew we had to come out and play good defense,” Cole said, who graduated earlier in the year from North Point. “When we do that the offense comes easy.”

Hawks sophomore forward Sigourney Jackson (Thomas Stone), who averaged 11.4 coming into the contest, finished with a team-high 18 points and sparked the team with a steal and one-handed dunk to electrify the crowd early in the second half, giving them a 60-50 lead at the time.

“When I got the steal I just went up. My leg was bothering me for the last month or so, but it felt good to finally get back going and confident to jump off of it,” Jackson said. “Hopefully I will be able to get even a better dunk next time.”

CSM had two other players in double figures as Cole, a sophomore guard and James Baylor finished with 15 points each, while freshmen Conrad Lee and Jalen Scayles (Calvert) added nine points, apiece.

“I just shoot as much as I can when I open,” said Baylor, who scored all of his points coming off the bench. “If I’m hitting shots that clears more things up for the team. If I’m not hitting shots I get rebounds or layups.”

Anne Arundel, which was averaging 89 points per game this season were held to its lowest output of the season.

Though Anne Arundel (7-2, 0-1) shot more free throws, 24-39 to CSM’s 17-29, the Hawks were able to force turnovers and keep the athletic Anne Arundel team out of the paint for second chance points.

“If we weren’t fouling a lot who knows how low we could of kept them, it could have been in the 50s,” Hoyt said. “But it was a great team effort and it was great to finish like this going into Thanksgiving and I told them tonight to get better and work on areas that will help us for the rest of the season.”

Freshman guards Ryan Hawkins and Kevin Davis led Anne Arundel with 21 and 16 points respectively , while Tyler Washington added 14 points off the bench.

“Coming into the second half Coach Hoyt really stressed to us that we had to defend and make them shooters,” Jackson said. “No. 24 [Hawkins] was killing going to the basket, so we had to rotate better on the help side and we got out and ran on offense. That is what’s going to take us to the next level.”

CSM will host Frederick Community College at 7 p.m. on Monday night.

ajmason@somdnews.com