Second half lifts Spartans in league win
CLINTON — After an even first 21 minutes Wednesday night, Southwestern Community College went on an 11-2 run and stayed in front the rest of the way for a 70-62 win over Clinton Community College in men’s basketball.
The Spartans improved to 7-7 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
Southwestern sophomore Marquealis Edwards was hot in the second half, scoring five points during the Spartans’ 11-2 run and 18 of his game-high 27 points in the second half.
“We’re typically pretty balanced scoring,” Southwestern head coach Mike Holmes said. “Marquealis had the lion’s share, but he had some things off of offensive tips, defensive plays where he got turnovers that led to runouts. We put him in the middle of our press, so he was going one-on-one with with bigs, which is a good matchup for us.”
Clinton closed the gap to 49-44 with eight minutes to play after Xzavion Jones scored five consecutive points. Jones, who scored a team-high 18, drilled a 3-pointer and made a pair of free throws.
Southwestern’s Patrick Wright, a former Davenport West prep, and Clinton’s BJ Bostic traded baskets to keep the Cougars within five, but Southwestern had an answer. Devin Kastrup made a layup and Edwards drilled a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 10.
“When you’re playing from behind all the time, you expend a lot of energy,” Clinton coach Joe Shovlain said. “It’s a game of spurts, especially the way we play. We’re up-and-down the floor and they slow the ball down.”
Clinton got layups on its next two possessions and Southwestern answered with 3-pointers from Delby Halcomb each time.
“We’ve got guys who make the next pass,” Holmes said. “That’s the beauty of coaching these guys. That’s fun when you’re running our system, that you’ve got guys who are doing that.”
A three-point play by Charles Pemberton brought Clinton to within seven with a minute to play, but the Cougars were unable to mount a final comeback.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. The Cougars scored the first five points on a Jones 3-pointer and a fastbreak layup by Richard Hurt. Southwestern countered that by scoring nine of the next 10 points.
“They’ve got some talented people,” Holmes said. “I thought throughout the game we were always good on both ends, but never great. We weren’t making glaring mistakes, but we were just a half-step slow here or there. I think things we did better the second half — we were crisper on the offensive end and defensively we were much more engaged.”
SWCC 70, Clinton 62
SOUTHWESTERN — Marquealis Edwards 10 5-6 27, Patrick Wright 5 3-5 13, Delby Halcomb 3 2-2 10, Devin Kastrup 5 2-2 12, Jack Harrison 1 0-0 2, Larry Mason 0 0-0 0, Marcus Littleton 1 0-0 2, Jared Theis 2 0-0 4. Totals 27 12-15 70.
CLINTON — Virshaun Grant 2 0-0 4, Richard Hurt 3 1-2 7, Xzavion Jones 5 5-7 18, James Randolph 3 0-3 6, Charles Pemberton 5 2-3 12, Kimani Stevens 4 2-3 10, BJ Bostic 2 0-0 5, Dane Barun 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 10-18 62.
Halftime score — Southwestern 28, Clinton 28. 3-point goals — Southwestern 4 (Edwards 2, Halcomb 2); Clinton 4 (Jones 3, Bostic). Total fouls — Southwestern 18; Clinton 13. Fouled out — none. Technical foul — Clinton bench. Rebounds — Southwestern 42 (Edwards 13, Harrison 7); Clinton 38 (Stevens 8, Pemberton 7). Blocks — Southwestern 4 (Harrison 2); Clinton 9 (Pemberton 6). Turnovers — Southwestern 8; Clinton 9.
CNA sports editor Scott Vicker contributed to this article.
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