SWCC men hold off Kirkwood
|Delby Halcomb drives against Devon Douglas of Kirkwood during Saturday's conference game. The Spartans moved into third place, ahead of the Eagles, with a 69-63 victory. (SWCC photo by DANYIELLE BARGER)|
Southwestern men got off to a hot start and withstood a second-half Kirkwood charge to pick up a key conference victory here Saturday.
The Spartans took a 40-27 halftime lead on the way to defeating Kirkwood, 69-63. The Eagles stormed back to take a brief one-point lead in the second half, 52-51, but Southwestern regained control down the stretch.
“Defensively we stepped up, got some big stops and rebounds,” said Southwestern coach Mike Holmes. “They’re quality, so they came back on us with more energy in the second half. But we didn’t push the panic button. We made some big free throws at the end, particularly by Patrick Wright and Marcus Littleton.”
Littleton also hit a big 3-pointer right at the end of the first half to provide the 13-point bulge at intermission. He also drew a charge for a Kirkwood turnover late in the game, when the Eagles were trailing by only two points.
Scoring 10 points, Littleton was one of five Spartans in double figures, led by all-region guard Marquealis Edwards with 20. Wright, 10-11 at the line, finished with 14 points. Center Devin Kastrup and reserve guard Larry Mason each tallied 11.
“We had contributions from several people, which you need in a game like that,” Holmes said. “Larry Mason came off the bench with really good energy on both ends of the floor. Jack Harrison did a nice job on the defensive boards. This was a big win for us.”
Southwestern is in third place in the ICCAC Division II standings at 4-2, now one game in front of Kirkwood at 3-3, and 11-10 overall. Southwestern improved to 10-9 overall.
Next up for the Spartans is a Wednesday trip to Fort Dodge to take on Iowa Central, a talented team that stands 12-9 overall and 2-4 in the league. That record puzzles Holmes.
“Iowa Central is loaded,” the Spartan coach said. “I don’t understand that (record). It’s probably just a matter of banging heads in our league. It can be tough. They have very good personnel. I would have picked them in the top three, and it still may not be that bad of a pick.”
KIRKWOOD (63) — Devon Douglas 7 1-2 16, J.C. Fuller 5 3-3 13, Jalen Currie 4 2-2 10, Kasey Semler 2 2-2 8, Gage Heffernan 3 3-3 8, Taylor Olson 2 2-3 6, Derek Witt 0 1-2 1. Totals — 23 13-16 63. 3-point goals — 3 (Semler 2, Douglas 1). Team fouls — 21. Fouled out — Olson.
SOUTHWESTERN (69) — Marquealis Edwards 7 4-5 20, Patrick Wright 2 10-11 14, Larry Mason 4 1-3 11, Devin Kastrup 5 1-2 11, Marcus Littleton 2 4-4 10, Jack Harrison 1 1-2 3. Totals — 21 21-27 69. 3-point goals — 6 (Mason 2, Edwards 2, Littleton 2). Team fouls — 16. Fouled out — 16. Fouled out — Delby Halcomb.
Kirkwood — 27 63
SWCC — 40 69