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Looking to end a seven-game home stand on a positive note, Southwestern downed Graceland University Friday night, 76-59, to move to 9-0 on the season. Graceland came out of the gates firing, taking an early 6-3 lead; however, the multiple bodies of the Spartans kept pounding away and eventually built a 41-26 halftime lead behind four three-point goal by David Farmer, crisp passing from point guard Dominique Outley, and the defensive presence of Austin Emerson. In the second half, the Spartans maintained their advantage with some key second-chance putbacks from Collin Artinger, who grabbed ten rebounds on the night. The win not only sets up the Spartans with a start that is raising eyebrows around the conference, but sets up an opportunity to knock off Division I opponent Iowa Western, where the Spartans travel Tuesday. The last time Southwestern upset a DI opponent was in the 2008-09 season, when they edged State Fair (Missouri), 70-69.
In their second meeting of the season, Southwestern overcame a four-point first-half deficit to pull away from North Central (Missouri) Tuesday night in Creston, 67-44. Trailing 17-13, Southwestern rallied with key free throws from David Farmer (photo) and two steals from Tyler Smith. With a 29-21 lead at half, Southwestern hit two three-point shots by Luke Sealer and Collin Artinger to increase the margin to 14, and never looked back. Alec Hall led Southwestern with 6 assists, and Farmer collected 6 defensive rebounds, as the Spartans again rode their defense to a win. The victory moves Southwestern to 8-0. They next play Graceland at home Friday night.
The Spartans Men’s Basketball team used a balance of their protection-based defense and spread offense to earn a key non-conference victory against Southeast (Nebraska) Saturday. Southwestern built a 42-20 halftime lead behind the point guard play of both Alec Hall and Dominique Outley. Hall had five assists in the game, and Outley had a stellar night from the field, including 2-2 from behind the arc and 5-6 from the free-throw line. Southeast kept fighting after the half, switching to a half-court trapping zone. They were able to cut the lead to 17 before a key pass from Jordan Hopkins to Sam Duggins got the Spartans a much-needed basket. In all, Southwestern connected on 10 of 20 from the three-point line on their way to the 77-47 win. The Spartans are now 6-0 on the season and will play talented Central (Nebraska) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Creston.
In what promised to be one of the most significant defensive challenges for the Spartans this year, the men’s basketball team got passing marks against Central Community College (Nebraska) at home Tuesday night, winning 94-70. The Spartans used another stellar first half, holding the high-powered Raiders to 20 points in the frame, taking a 50-20 lead to intermission. Luke Sealer (in photo) pounded the boards for Southwestern, collecting 11 rebounds in all on the night. Tyler Smith and David Goddard shared the challenging defensive assignment of stopping Ray McGaugh, Central’s offensive weapon. Both got passing marks from Head Coach Mike Holmes. “When you have one day to put in a funky defensive rule, you always are concerned how the players will execute. I thought all of our players did what they have done all year, which is to execute effectively in all things asked of them.” Central kept battling in the second half as both teams reached early foul trouble. Southwestern was effective enough against the press to maintain a comfortable margin. The Spartans move to 7-0, and next play North Central (Missouri) at home Tuesday, November 30.