As the conference positions jumble together with a few games to play, Southwestern needed a win at Ellsworth, who was running second in the league as of Saturday. Ellsworth came out of the gates strong, banging in two three-point goals immediately for an early 6-2 advantage, but Southwestern settled in and began to make some defensive stops, and took advantage of some strong inside finishes from Patrick Wright, Marquealis Edwards, and Devin Kastrup. Southwestern took a 32-27 lead to the locker room.
Ellsworth, who boasts seven players with three-point percentages over 30 percent, found some rhythm in the second half and managed to grab a 41-40 lead with 11 minutes to play in the game. The Spartans countered the hot Panther stretch with consecutive three-point goals from Marcus Littleton. The game see-sawed until the four minute mark, when Wright connected in two consecutive possessions to give Southwestern a 63-57 lead with just over three minutes to play. At that point, a key series in the game transpired when Kastrup rebounded a Spartan miss and was fouled on the put-back attempt. A technical foul was also called on Ellsworth, and Kastrup connected on four free throws to give the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish.
Southwestern sits alone in fourth in the ICCAC, one game behind Kirkwood and Ellsworth for second. They next play Wednesday night against North Iowa Area. Tip-off follows the women's game at approximately 7:30.