IOWA FALLS — Southwestern men picked up a big road victory Saturday, 75-63, at Ellsworth.
The win lodges Southwestern alone in fourth place in the conference at 6-5, and 13-12 overall. Ellsworth is just in front at 6-4, and 14-10 overall.
With three conference games left, the Spartans hope to hold on to a spot in the top four, which would qualify them to host a first-round regional tournament game.
The Spartans took a 32-27 halftime lead and the game stayed tight until a decisive burst with about three minutes left.
“We had taken a four-point lead on a couple of nice rebound putbacks by Patrick Wright, and a basket attack by Patrick,” coach Mike Holmes said. “Then came the big play of the game. We missed, Devin Kastrup rebounded and got fouled on the putback. He’s shooting two (free throws) and they get a technical foul. We just keep him at the line and he makes four in a row to put us up eight with three minutes to play.”
Another key sequence was provided by outside shooter Marcus Littleton.
“Marcus hit 3-point shots on consecutive possessions when they were making a run at us,” Holmes said.
Kastrup had a huge game, finishing with 27 points and six rebounds. Three others scored in double figures, led by Wright with 17. Marquealis Edwards contributed in several areas, ending with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Wright also had a big floor game with four steals and three assists.
Jack Harrison collected six rebounds while scoring five points.
Southwestern had 13 turnovers while forcing 19.
“We took care of the ball well and we defended,” Holmes said. “They have eight guys shooting over 30 percent from the 3-point arc. That extends us more than we want to get extended. Trying to keep them down is tough. We did a nice job, and got on the defensive boards.”
NIACC, 17-9 overall and 4-6 in the league, visits Southwestern at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after the 5:30 women’s contest. Other remaining league games are at second-place Kirkwood, and at home against Iowa Central, currently sixth at 5-6 in a tightly bunched field.
“Two teams are one behind us, and we are one behind two teams, essentially,” Holmes said, “so with three left, every one is absolutely vital.”
ELLSWORTH (63) — Totals — 27 10-16 63.
SOUTHWESTERN (75) — Devin Kastrup 8 9-10 27, Patrick Wright 6 5-6 17, Marquealis Edwards 5 2-4 14, 14, Marcus Littleton 3 2-4 10, Jack Harrison 2 2-1 5, Delby Holcomb 1 0-0 2. Totals — 25 19-26 75. FG shooting — 25-47 (53 percent). 3-point goals — 6-14 (Littleton 2, Edwards 2, Kastrup 2). Rebounds — 27 (Harrison 6, Kastrup 6, Edwards 5). Assists — 13 (Edwards 4, Wright 3). Steals — 11 (Edwards 4, Wright 4). Turnovers — 13.
Ellsworth — 27 63
SWCC — 32 63