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Southwestern managed to pull off a rare feat Saturday when they topped perennial conference power Kirkwood, 69-63. The first half was a balanced affair until the final four minutes, when Southwestern used two offensive put-backs from Marquealis Edwards and two three-point goals (including one at the buzzer) from Marcus Littleton to pull out to a 40-27 halftime lead. Kirkwood showed their poise by grinding away at the lead in the second half, at one point grabbing a 52-51 advantage with eight minutes to play.
In a rare game where Southwestern enjoyed greater size than its opponent, the Spartans took advantage of the interior to defeat a game William Penn team, 84-66. The Statesmen set an early tone in the game, racing to a 20-11 advantage on several three-point goals. Southwestern used a time out to adjust, and some key defensive plays by Marquealis Edwards and Delby Halcomb sparked an energetic run for Southwestern, who took a 47-31 lead into the half. In the second half, interior feeds to Jack Harrison and Devin Kastrup kept the offensive output moving forward, and the Spartans were able to slow down the Statesmen sharp-shooters for the eventual final margin.
Southwestern next plays at home Saturday against Kirkwood. The teams are tied for third currently in the ICCAC. Tip-off follows the women’s game at approximately 3 p.m.
In a contrast of styles, Southwestern and its ball possession offense traveled to high-scoring North Iowa Area Saturday in an ICCAC battle. In a grind-it-out style of game, the Spartans came away with a hard-fought 59-56 win. Southwestern was able to gain control late in the first half, sparked by key defensive plays from Patrick Wright and Marquealis Edwards. The Spartans led 28-23 going into the locker room at half. The Trojans slowly trimmed away the lead, tying the game at 37-37 with 11 minutes to play. The game went back and forth at that point until the three minute mark when Edwards made a key lay-up to put the Spartans up 53-50. NIACC answered by making a field goal in their next possession, then, after turning it over, the Spartans made a defensive stop and Jack Harrison was fouled. Harrison made both free throws to go up 55-52, but the Trojans connected on a basket to trim the lead to one. Southwestern could not run out the clock at that point, and Devin Kastrup (pictured) connected on a three-point goal from the corner with 17 seconds to play to give the Spartans a 58-54 advantage. Again, NIACC scored near the end of regulation and fouled Edwards with two seconds remaining. Edwards made one for the final margin of 59-56.
Southwestern next plays at home tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 22, against William Penn. Tip-off is 7 p.m.
Looking to stay in command atop the brutal Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, Southwestern took on perennial powerhouse Des Moines Area Community College Bears on Saturday. The first half went the Spartan’s way, as they were able to control the game’s tempo and take a 26-17 lead to the locker room, paced by balanced scoring and control of the defensive glass by Patrick Wright and Jack Harrison. The Bears chipped away in the second half, but Southwestern still looked to be in decent control as they led 49-44 with two minutes to play. A costly turnover during their next possession allowed the Bears a to cut the lead to three. When Southwestern failed on a field goal attempt in the next possession, the Bears scrambled franticly to get a three-point look, only to miss with three seconds remaining; however, a tip opportunity to cut the lead to one was accompanied by a Spartan foul, and DMACC was able to convert the free throw to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, Southwestern appeared to have little energy remaining and fell in the game 62-51.
Southwestern will next play at home Wednesday against Ellsworth. Tip follows the women’s game at approximately 7:30.