Southwestern was able to get off on the right foot in conference play with a 56-40 victory over visiting Clinton Saturday, December 14. The Spartans grabbed an early advantage on several slick assists from Larry Mason, and were able to control the defensive end of the floor, forcing the Cougars into difficult shots. Key baskets from Elliott Hamdeed took the Spartans to half leading 26-16.
Clinton proved game in the second half, once cutting the Spartan lead to 7, but bench play proved the difference. Tanner Kellogg led Southwestern rebounders with six, and Dylan Tucker chipped in a perfect four-for-four from the floor to keep the margin comfortable.
Southwestern will get to the break 1-0 in league play, and has one more non-conference game during finals at Division I Iowa Western Tuesday, December 17. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.