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After dropping an overtime game to Des Moines Area on the road earlier this season, Southwestern was hoping for better results on their home turf. The Bears, however, were able to pull out the win with key free throw connections late in the second half, tallying a 59-54 conference decision. DMACC took a 24-22 lead into half. Both teams asserted defensive control in the first frame, as DMACC tried to speed up the Spartans, and Southwestern used a protective approach to try to compensate on defensive rebounds.
Like many of Southwestern’s league games this season, Saturday’s battle with Clinton came down to a tight game with three minutes to play. The Spartans actually looked to be in jeopardy with just over three minutes when the Cougars connected on a three-point goal to take a 41-38 lead. Southwestern had an answer with a dribble attack from Patrick Wright that led to a basket and free throw. From there, Southwestern clamped down on the defensive end, forcing a turnover in the next possession and eventually getting a big drawn charge from Delby Halcomb. Marquealis Edwards provided the offense, connecting on an additional old-fashioned three-point play to give the Spartans a 44-41 pad with just under two minutes. From there, Southwestern played ball control and made free throws for an eventual margin of 50-41.
The win moves the Spartans to third in a log-jammed ICCAC. They will next play Des Moines Area Wednesday at home. Tip-off follows the women’s game at approximately 7:30.
Southwestern has played in its share of close games this season, and Saturday was no exception in Estherville as Iowa Lakes managed to outlast the Spartans, 55-54 in a game that went to the wire. Southwestern, behind hot shooting from Jack Harrison, Jared Theis, and Marquealis Edwards grabbed a 24-19 halftime lead.
Iowa Lakes, confident from nine consecutive wins, chipped away and grabbed a one-point advantage midway through the second half. The lead went back and forth from there. Southwestern had the ball with just over two minutes to play and a tie score, 50-50. The Lakers forced a turnover and made the transition lay-up to go up two points. Southwestern answered with a driving basket by Patrick Wright.
Like a heavyweight fight, Southwestern and Iowa Central went toe to toe Thursday, January 31, in Fort Dodge, resulting in a double-overtime victory for the host Tritons, 58-53.
Trailing by three near the end of regulation, Marquealis Edwards banked in a three-point goal at the horn to send the game to its first overtime. In that period, Southwestern had the ball with 11 seconds remaining and the score tied 52-52. Marcus Littleton had the ball knocked out of bounds on a basket attack, and on the inbound with two seconds to play Delby Halcomb missed an off-balance shot in the lane, and Jack Harrison could not convert the rebound on the weak side.
During the second overtime, Southwestern led 53-52, then fouled out both Edwards and Patrick Wright. Iowa Central was able to gain control from that point to outlast the Spartans. Southwestern must turn around and travel to Estherville to play the conference leaders, Iowa Lakes, who have not lost in the league since their defeat to the Spartans back in December. Tip off follows the women's game at 3 p.m.