State Fair slips past MCC men

Tyreek Scott-Grayson made 3-of-4 free-throw attempts in the last 34 seconds to break a tie and help the State Fair Community College men’s basketball team defeat Marshalltown CC 81-78 on Tuesday night at the Student Activity Center.

MCC freshman guard Oscar Kao made a 3-pointer and then a pair of free throws to cap the Tigers comeback from an eight-point deficit, tying the game at 78-all with 1:02 remaining. Scott-Grayson got to the line in back-to-back trips up the court for the Roadrunners (10-3), converting enough to force MCC to make a 3-pointer with time winding down.

Kao’s shot from distance was off the mark, and the Tigers got the ball back under their own basket with .2 seconds left, but that wasn’t enough time to get off the 3-point attempt they needed.

Kao finished with a career-high 36 points in a losing cause, going 11-for-18 from the field, including 6-of-12 from 3-point range, and 8-of-8 at the charity stripe to pace the Tigers (8-3).

Mohamed Thiam managed 18 points despite being limited to 24 minutes because of foul trouble, but no other MCC player posted more than seven points.

“Tonight was a little sloppy, both offensively and defensively,” said MCC head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson. “We need to take care of the ball and take advantage of our possessions. We didn’t play our brand of basketball tonight and that resulted in a loss.”

The Tigers committed 19 turnovers and were whistled for 21 fouls. State Fair charted more than half of its points (44) in the paint, and got 43 points from its bench as well. LePear Toles tallied 18 points to lead the Roadrunners, and Dru Smith scored 13 more in a reserve role.

Thiam paced MCC with eight rebounds and Bassirou Ndiaye tallied seven boards off the bench.

Marshalltown returns to the court Friday and Saturday at the Highland CC Classic in Freeport, Ill. The Tigers take on the hosts at 7 p.m. Friday before squaring off with Moberly Area at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sauk Valley at 3 p.m.