Southwestern used a defensive half in which they allowed talented North Central Missouri only 20 points to propel themselves to a fourth straight win Wednesday, November 20, 57-52. The Spartans charged out of the gate 10-2 on basket attacks and assists from Elliott Hamdeed and Matt Orchard. The game then dramatically changed as the Pirates got some long rebounds and steals for transition baskets. North Central Missouri also pounded the offensive boards for 13 offensive rebounds in the first half. The Pirates took a 32-26 advantage into the locker room at the half.
Then the Spartan's defense became more active, and Southwestern was able to keep North Central quiet for most of the second half, supported by Jared Theis on the defensive boards. Southwestern finally managed to take the lead with six minutes to play on a post feed to Mataika Koyamainavure, 49-48. As the Spartans clung to their lead, the key moment occurred late in the contest when North Central made a three-point goal to cut the lead to 54-50 and Orchard was fouled while blocking out. The Pirates bench then picked up a technical foul. Orchard made three of four free throws to up the margin back to seven with time ticking away.
The win gives Southwestern four consecutive wins and moves them to 4-2 on the season. They next play Central Nebraska Tuesday in Columbus. Tip is set for 7 p.m.