FORT DODGE — Jawad Adekoya came off the bench Thursday night and gave the Iowa Central men a basket at the most opportune time.
After Southwestern sank a desperation three-pointer to send the game into overtime, Adekoya scored his only three points of the game in the second extra session, pushing the Tritons to a 58-53 victory inside Hodges Fieldhouse.
Adekoya, who played sparingly in the contest, broke a 53-53 tie with just over a minute left. He followed up with a steal, and Jesse Jones iced the game away for Iowa Central (13-9 overall, 3-4 in ICCAC) at the free throw line.
“It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win,” ICCC head coach Dennis Pilcher said. “I thought we had a great team effort, especially Jawad coming in there, off the bench and hitting that big three.
“It seems like we have won a lot of games like this during the year.”
Rhys Elliot scored a game-high 20 points, including 18 in the second half. Jones finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Casey Sieren tallied nine.
“Jesse may have had his best game of the year, especially on the offensive end of the court,” Pilcher said. “And Rhys came in and knocked down some big shots when we really needed them.”
The Tritons withstood several Spartan (10-10, 4-3) rallies, including a 16-2 one in the second half that turned a 22-14 Iowa Central lead into a 30-24 Southwestern advantage.
It was a back-and-forth tilt from the nine-minute mark on, as neither team led by more than three until late in the second overtime period. Marquealis Edwards, who made the desperation, off-balance three to tie the game at the end of regulation, paced the Spartans with 19 before fouling out.
Patrick Wright added 10 points for the Spartans.
“Credit Southwestern, because they really came to play,” Pilcher said. “We’ve had a week off, and I thought that showed. This time of year, you need to be playing games on a consistent basis.
“We turned the ball over too much, and we missed too many open looks, but we came out with the win.”
Southwestern had an opportunity to win the game at the end of the first overtime period, but couldn’t convert on a 12-foot jumper or on a putback attempt.
“In overtime, we had a good chance to win in the first one,” Southwestern head coach Mike Holmes said. “We had the ball, tied with 10 seconds to play. We had a 12-footer and a putback that both missed. I thought we were going to get that.”
Southwestern returns to action 3 p.m. Saturday in Estherville against Iowa Lakes. Iowa Lakes, ranked ninth in the country, currently sits second in the ICCAC Division II standings at 7-1, with its only loss coming on Dec. 11 to Southwestern.
IOWA CENTRAL 58, SOUTHWESTERN 53
Iowa Central — Jesse Jones 12, Jaleel Gray 8, Casey Sieren 9, David Andersen 2, Rhys Elliot 20, Chris Tawiah 4, Jawad Adekoya 3.
Southwestern — Marquealis Edwards 19, Patrick Wright 10, Delby Halcomb 2, Devin Kastrup 12, Jack Harrison 8, Jared Theis 2.
Halftime score: Iowa Central led 19-14, Tied 48-48, Tied 50-50.
CNA sports editor Scott Vicker contributed to this report.