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In a game of spurts, Southwestern grabbed its second straight victory on the road in Orange City, 69-63. After jumping to a 9-0 lead with a Larry Mason three-point goal, Southwestern watched Northwestern get back into the game quickly on two of their seven three pointers they would hit on the game. The Raiders took an 18-14 lead, but the Spartans steadied things on two back-cuts by Elliott Hamdeed and assists from Jared Theis.
By half, Northwestern held a 28-27 lead. Southwestern got control early in the second half on inside play from Mataika Koyamainavure and Tanner Kellogg. Leading by 12 with 11 minutes to play, the Spartans again had to endure a Raider spurt that concluded with another one-point lead for the hosts, 49-48, with five minutes to play. Nick Lenhard (pictured) then made two passing-lane interceptions which both led to Spartan scores and a two-possession lead with just over three minutes. Down the stretch, key free throws from Matt Orchard helped to secure the win for the Spartans on the road.
Southwestern next plays Monday, November 18, against Graceland as part of a double header with the women's basketball teams. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Southwestern got into the win column Wednesday evening in a solid home-opening win, 74-59 over William Penn. The Spartans were out of the gates quickly on basket attacks from Matt Orchard and strong defensive rebounding from Jared Theis. The Statesmen crawled back into the game late in the first half on two big three-point goals, which trimmed the Southwestern advantage to 36-34 going into the locker room at half.
Southwestern cleaned up its defensive closeouts and jumped to an early nine point advantage in the second half 43-34. William Penn kept fighting, but a key series, including a defensive steal from Nick Lenhard and three-point goals from Orchard and Elliott Hamdeed put the lead comfortably in double digits. The Spartans also got key rebounds and putbacks from Tanner Kellogg to secure the final advantage.
Southwestern next travels to Northwestern for a Saturday contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
In their second consecutive road contest to begin the season, the young Southwestern men’s basketball team traveled to play the North Central Missouri Pirates, taking steps toward consistency, yet coming up on the short end of a 60-56 final. Southwestern weathered an early 9-3 deficit and narrowed the gap on big plays by Mataika Koyamainavure (pictured) in the post and Elliott Hamdeed from the arc.
Defensively, Koyamainavure was strong on the boards, and Larry Mason helped control the pace for the Spartan’s offense, keeping the game where they wanted it despite trailing at half, 26-22. In the second half, the game went back and forth and saw the Spartans tie the score multiple times thanks to key baskets by Mason and a hustle rebound and putback from Tanner Kellogg.
With many fresh faces, Southwestern faced Graceland on the road in its season opener, dropping the contest 68-63. The Spartans controlled the first half, using inside play from Mataika Koyamainavure and early outside connections from Jared Theis to build a 36-27 halftime lead. An early three-point goal from Matt Orchard got the Spartans to a double-digit lead, but the Yellow Jackets kept jabbing away at the lead, and Southwestern showed inexperience with some key turnovers, failed block-outs, and defensive lapses.
Sophomore Larry Mason tried to keep the Spartans in front with some key hustle plays and defensive boards, but with three minutes to play Graceland took the lead. A turnover on the next possession for Southwestern led to a transition basket for the Yellow Jackets and put Southwestern into hurry mode. The Spartans could not dig into the late advantage and had to settle for the disappointing defeat.
Southwestern next plays on the road Saturday at North Central Missouri. The tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.