PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Neither the Pittsfield nor Drury boys basketball team is giving its coach the full 32 minutes he wants to see this season.
But on this night, the 16 minutes delivered by the Generals was enough.
Joshua Moore scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead Pittsfield to a 68-56 win over the Blue Devils at Moynihan Field House.
The Generals (9-5) went to the locker room down two points but outscored Drury 20-12 in the third quarter to take control of the game.
“It was just a matter of picking up the intensity,” Pittsfield coach Steve Ray said. “We’ve had a struggle this season getting four quarters out of our team. And they came out flat — nobody in the gym, no energy.
“And to Drury’s credit, I thought they played a lot more intense, played stronger defense. And I thought they just outplayed us in the second half.”
Pittsfield asserted itself in the paint in the second half, outrebounding the visitors by a margin of 28-12 in the last 16 minutes.
Simon Nassif (18 points, 11 rebounds) collected seven second-half rebounds, and Louis Higuera had five.
Pittsfield turned the game around right out of the locker room with a 16-5 run that featured seven points from Moore. The capper came off a rebound by Connor McDonough, who threw an outlet pass to Moore, who finished and drew a foul. He finished the conventional three-point play to make it 41-32 with 3 minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
Drury got back within three points early in the fourth quarter, but another Moore three-point play followed by a Nassif putback pushed the lead to 52-44. From there, the Blue Devils never got closer than six.
“Our size started taking over,” Ray said of the second half. “We started getting more inside looks. We started getting a little more aggressive on defense. … And I thought putting Tyrell Boire gave us a lift on defense. He did a good job covering [Hayden] Bird a little bit, and I thought he did a real good job on [Reece] Racette in that third quarter.”
Bird finished with 10 points. Racette scored a team-high 20, and Connor Meehan had 14 for the Blue Devils.
Drury (7-8) has been struggling with the loss of one of its leading scorers and has lost eight straight since starting the season without a loss until Jan. 11 — a four-point loss to Pittsfield.
Blue Devils coach Jack Racette said his team is small and young and his bench is short. But he is not making any excuses.
“We don’t play 32 minutes mentally tough, and you’ve got to do that to beat good teams,” Racette said. “We’re undersized every night, so when you’re undersized, you can’t make any mistakes.
“We’re missing guys and we’re small and we’re thin. We were small before, and now we’re even smaller, without scorers.
“My guys are never not going to play hard. But there’s no moral victories. We don’t have moral victories in Drury basketball. Our goal is to get to 10 [wins]. We have five more games to get to 10, and we’ll be competing right to the end. We’re not backing down from anybody. We didn’t back down tonight, and we won’t back down Friday night.”
The Blue Devils are at Monument Mountain on Friday. Pittsfield will go for its 10th win of the season. Pittsfield is at Hoosac Valley on Friday.