No. 4 Spartans outscore Tigers
In a game of runs, the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball couldn’t keep pace, and fell to visiting Southwestern Community College 94-80 Wednesday evening.
Mohamed Thiam had 16 points, Jamir Coleman had 15 off the bench and Souf Mensah had 13, despite sitting out 15 minutes of the first half in the loss. Four of the Southwestern CC (11-0) starting five scored in double figures, with KeShawn Wilson grabbing 17 on 5-for-7 3-point shooting.
The Spartans grabbed an early run, going up 12-4 before the Tigers (9-3) rebounded with an 11-2 run to bring the game back within a possession, down 29-26. But a combination of poorly-timed turnovers on top of SWCC shooting 27-35 from the charity stripe, led to the final result.
“We settled, we settled. We took bad shots,” said MCC head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson. “We rushed shots and instead of going to the rim, we’re fading away. We didn’t around the basket and we didn’t play tough. That’s what it comes down to. The shoot 35 free throws, we shoot 26, that just tells the tale of the game who the tougher team was.”
The Tigers ended the game shooting 38.6 percent from the floor, while tallying 25.9 percent from the arc. Reggie Gradwell had back-to-back 3-pointers off the bench with less than two minutes to play in the first half, bringing the score to within 39-36, but Bennie Curtis and Wilson hit 3-pointers to help get back up seven at halftime.
“At the end of the day, you go into halftime down seven, it could’ve been 10, it could’ve been four if things went differently,” Byrnjarsson said. “I don’t think [Mensah being on the bench] was the worst thing. We have got to be better offensively. We settled on some things, they played off a few guys and we fell right into the trap. Nice job by them, they did their game plan and executed. They were the better team tonight.”
Again, down 56-53, the Spartans went off on an 11-0 run to go up 67-53 early in the second half. MCC battled back to within eight or nine points, but could never put the finishing touches on a run to give them life and complete the upset.
BJ Millard had 12 more points as a starter for MCC and both Thiam and Juan Coffi pulled down 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Grabbing the ball off the glass was an area the Tigers excelled, out-rebounding the Spartans 41-35 (17-6 offensively).
With less than five minutes to play, the Tigers were back on another short run. After forcing a stop, Mensah let a rebound get away from him, which Jamil Maddred took back up, made the basket and went to the line to complete the three-point play.
“[We had] crucial turnovers down the stretch,” Brynjarsson said. “We turned the ball over after a rebound, into a three-point play, and right there, to me, was the play of the game. At the end of the day, you’ve got to come down and execute and go from there.”
MCC turned the ball over 15 times, which SWCC was able to score 24 points off of. MCC was only able to convert 10 points off of 12 SWCC turnovers.
The road ahead will need mental readjusting, as the Tigers hit the road Thursday night for the Highland Tournament in Illinois.
“We just want to talk about potentially we’re good. That’s potentially, that’s not going out and doing it,” Brynjarsson said. “And that, in my opinion, is underachieving. That goes back on me, that’s obviously something I haven’t done a very good job of, but we need to find a group that actually wants to play hard and wants to be in there and make plays when it comes down to it, down the stretch.”
The Tigers will take on Don Bosco prep Thursday night, then a to be decided opponent on Friday during the Highland Tournament.
Southwestern CC 94, Marshalltown CC 80
SOUTHWESTERN (11-0) — B. Thomas 1-4 2-4 5, Maddred 3-7 6-7 12, Johnson 4-10 4-6 12, Chambers 3-6 9-12 15, Wilson 5-11 2-2 17, A. Thomas 2-2 0-0 5, Hightower 5-5 4-4 14, Edwards 2-5 0-0 5, Canada 1-2 0-0 2, Curtis 3-4 0-0 7. TOTALS 29-56 27-35 94.
MCC (9-3) — Mensah 5-11 3-4 13, Thiam 5-15 4-4 16, Millard 4-5 3-4 12, Coffi 2-5 4-4 8, Simmons 2-8 2-5 6, Coleman 6-14 2-3 15, Preito 0-0 0-0 0, Gafeney 1-2 0-0 3, Hauser 0-3 1-2 1, Gradwell 2-7 0-0 6. TOTALS 27-70 19-26 80.
Halftime–SWCC 46-39. 3-Point Goals–SWCC 9-20 (Wilson 5-7, A. Thomas 1-1, Curtis 1-1, B. Thomas 1-3, Edwards 1-3, Johnson 0-2, Maddred 0-3), MCC 7-27 (Gradwell 2-6, Thiam 2-7, Millard 1-1, Gafeney 1-2, Coleman 1-3, Coffi 0-1, Mensah 0-2, Hauser 0-2, Simmons 0-3.) Rebounds–SWCC 35 (Chambers 6), MCC 41 (Thiam 12). Assists–SWCC 15 (Johnson 8), MCC (Simmons 5). Totals Fouls–SWCC 22, MCC 26. Fouled Out–Mensah. A–260.