Southwestern battled through rebounding difficulties to capture its third straight victory, 74-67, over visiting Graceland Monday night. The Spartans got off to a slow start, trailing early 7-2. They began closing the gap off post feeds to Mataika Koyamainavure and from basket attacks by Elliott Hamdeed. By half, the Spartans held a slim 34-32 lead.
Southwestern tried a pull-away early in the second half, leading 41-32 early, but the Yellow Jackets clawed right back into the contest, cutting the margin to 45-41 with 13 minutes to play. Both teams then went on matching offensive runs, the Spartans being sparked by several offensive rebounds and put-backs from Tanner Kellogg. Holding a slim four-point advantage, Southwestern got key free throws down the stretch from Koyamainavure, Matt Orchard, and Jared Theis to put the game away.
The Spartans next play Wednesday evening against North Central Missouri. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.