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Southwestern extended their record to 2-0 on the young season with a tough win at North Central Missouri Saturday. The Spartans came firing out of the gates, jumping to a 19-6 lead, but then foul trouble put North Central Missouri at the line 17 times in the first half compared to 6 for the Spartans. By half, the Pirates had cut into the lead and trailed 39-33 at half. The beginning of the second half was see-saw at first, and North Central tied the contest at 45-45 with 14 minutes to play. From there, the Spartans took command with several back-door cuts and solid defense on the basket attack efforts by the Pirates. Southwestern came away with a 71-57 win. “To beat a quality team on the road,” said Head Coach Mike Holmes, “is a huge step for our program in the early going.” Though the Spartans put four players in double figures (Alec Hall, Tyler Smith, Jordan Hopkins, and Keenan Joiner), Holmes was most pleased with the execution details with the ball. Southwestern made only 9 ball mistakes despite heavy pressure from North Central, and Hall had 7 assists in an offense in which precision timing is paramount. Southwestern opens at home Tuesday against William Penn.
Southwestern opens on road with win
The Southwestern men’s basketball team traveled to Lamoni Thursday for their 2010-11 opener and came away with a 73-54 win. The Spartans sputtered early offensively, turning the ball over more than they characteristically do, but showed good energy on the defensive end to maintain a half-time advantage, 28-20. Southwestern built its lead to double digits after a three-point goal by David Farmer (So., Independence, MO). Graceland stayed within shouting distance, answering several Spartan baskets to keep the advantage at around 10. In the last five minutes of the game, Southwestern went into its spread game and hit Jordan Hopkins (Fr., Raytown, MO) on two different back-cuts to put the game out of reach for Graceland. Hopkins led scorers with 24. Farmer and Collin Artinger (So., Lee’s Summit, MO) controlled the inside with 12 rebounds each. Southwestern begins the season 1-0 and next travels to Trenton, Missouri, Saturday to face North Central Missouri.
It was the final tune up for the Spartans before their season opener against Graceland Thursday, November 5.
The first half was closely-fought. Crown used perimeter shooting to keep the Spartans off balance, and Southwestern countered with good attacks into the gaps of the Storm defense.
In the second half, Southwestern began to pull out a margin due in part to better shot challenges and defensive rebounding, which led to some transition baskets.
NCAA rules do not allow a host school of a scrimmage to post the score, but Head Coach Mike Holmes felt good about his team’s ability to control the second half.
“We were much more active defensively,” Holmes said, “which allows us to get into a better flow on both ends of the floor.”
Holmes credited Jordan Hopkins (FR., Raytown, MO) and Austin Emerson (SO., Adel, IA) with defensive energy that turned the tide into the favor of the Spartans.
The Spartans Men’s Basketball team is trying to find out just what they will need to improve to be ready for their season opener November 4th. Enter Grand View, a four-year NAIA school who Southwestern has scrimmaged each of the past three seasons.
Head Coach Mike Holmes said, "Grand View is a well-coached, top-line NAIA school. If you want to find our your weaknesses, playing their varsity is a good way to do it."
Though Grand View controlled the game, Southwestern fought to remain close in the contest, using 13 offensive rebounds and 48 percent shooting from inside the arc.
In the closing moments, with the Vikings ahead 45-43, the Spartans got a breakaway chance, but could not convert a challenged lay-up. The final was Grand View 47, Southwestern 45.
"Obviously there are always so many details left to perfect at this stage," said Holmes, "but we can take some good things away from this scrimmage."
As a bonus for playing the game, the Spartans got to see former Southwestern standout Royce Phillips, who now plays in his senior season for the Vikings.
Southwestern finishes its exhibition season with a game at four-year Division III Crown College (St. Bonifacius, MN) Saturday at 3:30 p.m.