Tigers net first ICCAC win

MCC men dunk Northeast 69-49

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College guard Osca Kao (3) hovers in the lane while shooting up a jumper during the second half of the TIgers’ ICCAC Division I win over Northeast Community College on Saturday. Kao led MCC with a game-high 17 points.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College guard Osca Kao (3) hovers in the lane while shooting up a jumper during the second half of the TIgers’ ICCAC Division I win over Northeast Community College on Saturday. Kao led MCC with a game-high 17 points.

After losing its first three tests in ICCAC Division I play, the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball team was desperate to not start 0-4 in divisional play on Saturday when it welcomed in Northeast Community College to the MCC campus.

From the starting whistle, it was clear the Tigers were on a mission on Saturday, and the Hawks had no answer for their strong inside attack, as MCC rolled to an easy 69-49 victory.

Marshalltown had 44 points in the paint in the win, while post players Mohamed Thiam, Bassirou Ndiaye, Berk Karadan and Eduardo Lane combined to score 38 points and pull down 27 rebounds in the win.

Thiam, who recorded a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, said this was an important game for the team, as they wanted to show they are still a strong contender in one of the best conferences in the country.

“It was special because we play a lot of games and we didn’t have Berk and Eduardo because they were injured, now they came back and they help a lot inside the paint,” Thiam said. “It was good to have those guys inside and we are happy to win.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College freshman Bassirou Ndiaye (14) sends up an arching shot toward the hoop while Northeast Community College’s Brandon Villalpando looks on during second half of the Tigers’ 69-49 win over the Hawks on Saturday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College freshman Bassirou Ndiaye (14) sends up an arching shot toward the hoop while Northeast Community College’s Brandon Villalpando looks on during second half of the Tigers’ 69-49 win over the Hawks on Saturday.

As Thiam explained, the big-man rotation for MCC (14-8, 1-3) has been in flux lately, as both Karadan and Lane had missed time due to nagging injuries. This was actually Lane’s first game back after missing the last six contests due to an ankle injury, and though he only played 13 minutes, Tigers head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson said Lane’s presence is key to his team’s success.

“Eduardo played 13 minutes and he gave us four points and four rebounds, but what he allows us to do is we don’t have to go small and move Kelton [Edwards] over to the 4,” Brynjarsson said. “That will still come where we do that, but I thought Eduardo did a nice job bouncing back after a long time of not playing. He’s been working his butt off to get back in shape and being back in the game.”

Freshman Oscar Kao was the leading scorer for MCC with a game-high 17 points, while Karadan was the top player off the bench with 13 points and seven rebounds. Karadan said he was happy with his individual stat line, but the reason they won the game was because everyone played together.

“It was good, we actually as a team prepared a lot this week because we wanted to win this game,” Karadan said. “We were practicing hard to win this game and I am glad to win this game together as a team. The whole team was ready for that game, and it was our first conference game too.”

Where the Tigers excelled most was on the defensive end and in rebounds, as they held the Hawks (12-10, 0-4) to just 31.3 percent shooting and outworked them on the glass 47-33. Melkisedek Moreaux was the top scorer for Northeast with 16 points, while Steve Wooten was the only other Hawk in double digits with 13.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Brynjarsson said that is the kind of effort he needs to see from his guys to avoid a loss like the 84-56 drubbing Indian Hills put on them last Saturday.

“Northeast is a good team, they had an off night shooting the ball obviously but I thought we had a lot to do with that,” he said. “That was kind of our tone in practice for the last four days, working on how hard we have to play after really going down to Indian Hills and not really showing up in some ways.”

What also stands out from the Tigers is how every player who entered the game contributed. Each of the nine MCC men who played scored at least two points, and they all hauled in at least three rebounds.

“I was really happy for our bench, Berk came in and gave us a big lift, but it didn’t really matter who came in, they did something for us,” Brynjarsson said. “All nine guys that played scored and all nine guys that played for us actually grabbed a rebound. At the end of the day that’s a very positive thing for us.”

While this win breaks the three-game losing skid for MCC in divisional play, the Tigers still definitely have work ahead of them as they prepare to take on Iowa Western on Wednesday for a second time. Brynjarsson said it will take a good effort to beat the NJCAA No. 17 Reivers, so his guys need to already be focusing on that matchup.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“This one is over with and Wednesday nobody cares if you got beat by 20 or win by 20, it’s game by game and play by play,” Brynjarsson said. “Every minute counts, we’ve got to be ready. Iowa Western will be ready regardless of what the outcome is tonight, whether they win or if they lose, whatever it is. When you are playing a conference game at the level we are playing in one of the best conferences in the country, you have to show up. And if you don’t show up what happened down south to us at Indian Hills is what tends to happen.”

Marshalltown next welcomes in Iowa Western on Wednesday for an ICCAC Division I matchup, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Marshalltown CC 69,

Northeast CC 49

NORTHEAST CC (12-10, 0-4) — Wooten 5-17 1-2 13, Anderson 3-16 1-4 8, Villalpando 0-1 0-1 0, Codden 1-6 0-0 16, Moreaux 7-15 2-7 16, Jaquan Sanders 3-5 0-0 7, Asher Scavella 0-0 0-0 0, Sakinis 1-3 0-0 2, Gasim 0-0 0-0 0, Kur 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 20-64 4-14 49.

MARSHALLTOWN CC (14-8, 1-3) — Kao 7-16 1-1 17, Thiam 4-14 5-6 13, Word 2-5 0-1 4, Ndiaye 3-3 2-2 8, Vidovic 1-1 0-0 3, Foster 1-1 0-0 2, Edwards 2-7 1-2 5, Lane 2-4 0-0 4, Karadan 6-11 1-2 13. TOTALS 18-62 10-14 69.

Halftime–MCC 36-20. 3-Point Goals–NECC 5-14 (Wooten 2-3, Sanders 1-1, Codden 1-4, Anderson 1-5, Sakinis 0-1), MCC 3-15 (Kao 2-8, Vidovic 1-1, Word 0-1, Edwards 0-1, Karadan 0-1, Thiam 0-3). Rebounds–NECC 33 (Moreaux 13), MCC 47 (Thiam 11). Assists–NECC 6 (Codden 2), MCC 15 (Word 7). Total Fouls–NECC 16, MCC 17. Fouled Out–none.