The Southwestern men opened league play with a 56-40 win over Clinton here on Saturday.
The win improved the Spartans to 7-6 for the season and 1-0 in ICCAC Division II play.
“I told our guys, we need to defend our home court as much as we can in conference,” Southwestern head coach Mike Holmes said. “It was a good win for us. That helps you in those over-the-break practices, when you’re trying to get geared up when you know you’ve got two conference games coming up. It was good to get that win.”
The Spartans used a balanced offensive attack to earn the victory. Three players scored in double figures, led by Mataika Koyamainavure’s 13 points.
Elliott Hamdeed and Jared Theis each contributed 10 points. Sophomore Larry Mason did not score in the game, but kickstarted the offense with seven assists.
“One of our better offensive players didn’t score,” Holmes said about Mason. “He had a couple really good passes right off the bat. Hit some guys on some back cut layups. That was nice to get us going.”
Holmes said freshman Tanner Kellogg of Albia was able to get some putbacks off offensive rebounds for his six points, and that Dylan Tucker took good shots from the floor in shooting 4-of-4 for nine points in total. Matt Orchard finished with six points.
The Spartans had one of their better defensive team efforts of the season in holding Clinton to just 40 points, Holmes said.
“Our biggest thing is we don’t want to give up easy stuff at the rim,” he said. “We want to make them shoot outside over our defense. I thought we consistently took away the rim. We did some funky defensive things in taking away one of their best players. I thought we were really good on the defensive end. We were able to get our margin because our defense was so good.”
Southwestern finishes up the 2013 portion of its schedule with a road contest today at Division I Iowa Western.
“It’s a great environment to play,” Holmes said. “Not only are we facing a D-I program, but top 10 in the nation right now. It will be a great chance for us. We’re not quite as intimidated as we were the last time we played a D-I. I’m eager to see if we’ve moved on and gotten more mature on that.”
CLINTON (40) — Coles 3 0-0 8, Bil 2 4-6 8, Gaines 2 2-2 7, Stevens 3 0-0 7, Brown 2 2-4 6, Gogins 1 0-1 2, Alyden 1 0-2 2. Team fouls — 19. Fouled out — none.
SOUTHWESTERN (56) — Mataika Koyamainavure 5 3-7 13, Elliott Hamdeed 4 0-1 10, Jared Theis 4 0-0 10, Dylan Tucker 4 1-1 9, Matt Orchard 3 0-0 6, Tanner Kellogg 3 0-0 6, Nick Lenhard 0 2-4 2. Totals — 23 5-15 56. Assists — Larry Mason 7. Team fouls — 15. Fouled out — none.
Clinton — 16 40
SWCC — 26 56