After taking a 28-26 lead into halftime here Wednesday night, the Southwestern Community College men’s basketball team started the second half on the wrong end of a 16-4 run before losing 64-59 to North Central Missouri College.
Southwestern falls to 1-1 for the season.
“I thought the game kind of hinged on the beginning of the second half,” head coach Mike Holmes said. “That deficit was not due to us not making some good reads, that was just plain, old ignorance defensively.”
North Central Missouri’s Marshon Norfleet did the bulk of the damage during that run, scoring 11 of the 16 points, and in a variety of ways — a long 3-pointer, a layup and several midrange jumpers.
Norfleet led all scorers with 23 points.
“We were not talking on our handoffs, we lost some guys in cardinal sin places to lose guys — like the opposite block on the inbound,” Holmes said. “If we give up a layup, it’s a mistake. It’s against teaching. Somebody has made a mistake. The way we teach things, that should never happen.”
Down 49-40, the Spartans rallied back to within 52-51 after 3-pointers from Jack Harrison, Marquuealis Edwards and Marcus Littleton and a jumper by Harrison.
North Central Missouri quickly extended the lead back to 56-51, but Southwestern cut the lead back to one on a Delby Halcomb jumper from the top of the key.
But North Central Missouri closed the game on a 6-2 run in the final minute of the game to hang on for the 64-59 win.
“We expended our energy trying to catch back up, and didn’t take advantage of the crowd or our momentum, and allowed ourselves to get beat on another possession,” Holmes said. “We really deserved to lose that game, based on the things we did.”
Edwards led the Spartans in scoring with 20 points while Harrison added 11.
North Central Missouri shot 11-of-15 at the free throw line compared to Southwestern’s 2-4.
The Spartans got out to a slow start in the first half, as well, quickly falling behind 8-2 as North Central Missouri knocked down a pair of 3-pointers early.
After taking a 14-12 lead, the Spartans surrendered three more 3-pointers, falling behind 21-16.
“We were trying to do some intelligent defense versus straight up man-to-man,” Holmes said. “We were trying to hand off some screens, and I thought we were doing OK there. We were rebounding all right. We had four or five charges drawn in the first half. That’s our game — rotate and take away the basket.
“Offensively, they were actually doing the same thing to us and we were having trouble adjusting to that. The only point of frustration was when we tried to make adjustments, we didn’t make very good mental decisions.”
The Spartans return to action 3 p.m. Saturday at home against Graceland JV.
North Central Missouri (64) — Adam Woods 3, Derreon Parker 11, Tyler Peterson 7, Eddie Poland 6, Marshon Norfleet 23, Reggie Maxwell 2, Eric McDaniel 10, Skyler Harris 2. 3-point goals — (9) Woods 1, Parker 3, Poland 2, Norfleet 3. Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — none.
SOUTHWESTERN (59) — Marquealis Edwards 20, Jack Harrison 11, Devin Kastrup 8, Marcus Littleton 8, Delby Halcomb 6, Patrick Wright 4, Larry Mason 2. 3-point goals — (5) Edwards 2, Littleton 2, Harrison 1. Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — none.
NCM — 26 64
SWCC — 28 59