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Created: Thursday, March 3, 2011 4:52 pm

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After splitting with Ellsworth during the regular season, the rubber match of the series proved to be a thriller.  Tied at half, Southwestern got command of the game in the second half behind torrid shooting and sound defensive play.  Nursing an eight-point lead with just under five minutes to play, Southwestern got passive against a tenacious Ellsworth press and saw the lead dwindle.  After an offensive rebound on a missed free throw, the Panthers took a late lead.  Down 65-64 with 29 seconds to play at 20 seconds on the shot clock, Southwestern made the decision to defend rather than foul.  Ellsworth connected on a field goal with 12 second remaining to lead 67-64.  Southwestern had two shots at the tie at the end after an Austin Emerson miss was rebounded by Keenan Joiner and kicked back to Emerson for a second try.  When the shot hit off the back iron, Southwestern’s season had ended.  Head Coach Mike Holmes said, “Our guys executed our plan and we had a tremendous opportunity to win.  It hurts more when you feel like you had the game in hand and let it slip away.  They are a tremendously talented team and made big plays when they needed them most.  I feel our players, once time passes, will reflect and feel like their 14 wins were an accomplishment that symbolizes their competiveness and execution this season.”

Created: Friday, February 25, 2011 8:06 am

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The Spartans headed into their final home game of the season with a big task at hand, playing the conference leaders, the Kirkwood Eagles. Looking to notch a second loss in the Kirwood season, the Spartan men played hard takeing a three point deficit into the half, 24-27. Continuing their tough play in the second half, the Spartans stayed within striking distance until the Eagles when on a scoring run for nine points. Final score for the game left left the Spartans on the bottom and the Eagle with a single conference loss for the season.

UPDATE: The Spartans will lead off their post-season play vs. Ellsworth at 7 pm. on Wednesday, March 2. All tournamet pairings and final season standings can be viewed on the ICCAC Web site. Go Spartans!

Created: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:13 am

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Not many teams beat Division I Indian Hills on their home floor, and Southwestern, despite a good effort, was no exception in a Tuesday 67-52 loss in Ottumwa.  After taking a 25-15 lead, Indian Hills could not put the pesky Spartans away, as Austin Emerson managed to keep Southwestern close going into half, 34-26.  The Spartans fired out of the gate in the second half, and with help from two Luke Sealer baskets, cut the lead to 1 at 38-37.  From there, the margin bounced between six and two points most of the evening.  With three minutes to go and a six-point lead, the Warriors hit an off-balance look with 1 second on the shot clock, forcing the Spartans into a hurry-up mode.  Southwestern misconnected on a three-point attempt and then was forced to foul, leading to the final margin.  Southwestern is 14-12 overall, and next plays a key conference road game in Mason City against North Iowa Area.

Created: Monday, February 14, 2011 2:46 pm

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Southwestern showed effects of a long trip to Clinton Sunday, trailing at half by 9 before coming from behind to capture a 69-64 conference win.  The Spartans led for most of the first half, and were on top 28-24 when things went downhill.  Behind 9 first half offensive rebounds, Clinton went on a 17-2 before half to lead 39-30 at intermission.  The Spartans began to methodically claw back into the game, and consecutive three-point goals from Austin Emerson and Luke Sealer gave Southwestern the lead for good at the 3-minute mark of the contest.  Collin Artinger connected on another three to up the advantage to four.  After a Clinton basket and free throw, Southwestern stopped the Cougars with under a minute to play, and Sammy Duggins made two free throws for a 65-62 lead with 17 seconds to play.  Clinton tried a 3 on the next series, but Duggins again grabbed the miss and sealed the game with two more free throws.  Southwestern next plays at Division I Indian Hills Tuesday at 7 p.m.