Spartans Hang On for Quarterfinals Victory

Danville, IL - The first quarterfinal of the 2017 NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament was Game 13, played Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 1 p.m., between top-seeded Southwestern Community College and the eight seed Pima Community College.

The Spartans hopped out to an early 5-4 lead aided by a corner three from Brodric Thomas. Two more threes from Southwestern provided them with offense, and the Spartans led 11-8 at the under 14- minute media timeout.

Pima called a timeout with 10:47 to go in the first half, in which they were amidst a three and a half minute scoring drought and trailed 16-8. KeShawn Wilson put Southwestern up double digits on the Spartans fourth made three-pointer of the half, 19-8.

A pair of transition layups at the nine-minute mark broke the 5:32 scoring lapse for the Aztecs and cut the lead to 19-12. But Southwestern stayed hot and added two more threes from Khallid Edwards and Jamil Maddred, his second of the half.

Southwestern kept trying to build momentum knocking down three after three. Pima would counter connecting from deep, but Calvin Chambers would hit the eighth Spartan three of the half and surge ahead 30-19.

Out of a Pima timeout, the Spartans stayed hot and hit yet another three and stole the ball and scored on a breakaway layup. The Aztecs called another timeout less than a minute later. Pima scored on five of six possessions during a stretch with under four minutes to go in the half and rallied back to within five, 37-32, after an 11-2 run.

A three-pointer right before the half took what once was a 14-point Southwestern lead down to three, 38-35 going into the half.

"We did a tremendous job to get a big lead in the first half. We didn't know if they were going to come out in man or zone, but we were ready for either one," said Spartan Head Coach Todd Lorensen. "When they switched to man late in the first half, we got a little excited and had some careless turnovers trying to play one-on-one."

The Aztecs tied the game on their second possession of the half with a three from the right corner.

Pima regained the lead that they held in the opening minutes of the game 40-39. Another layup and the Aztecs were in front by three, their largest lead of the game. Their 10-2 run spanned from the end of the half and into the second half.

Emilio Acedo connected again from the opposite corner and Pima led 47-41 with 14:32 to go in the game.

Lavon Hightower scored the next five points for Southwestern after the Spartans struggled to find offense for the first seven minutes of the half. Pima led 50-46 after a pair of free throws.

A strong take from Alijah Thomas put the Spartans back in front as the team rallied to a 5-0 run, 51-50. Both teams were in the bonus with 9:33 left in the game. Acedo's three-point barrage continued as he hit again and gave Pima a two-point lead, 55-53.

Southwestern spurted again to reestablish their lead. A rally capped off by a three from Hightower put the Spartans up five, 62-57, with just under eight minutes to go in the game.

Acedo stayed hot to counter for Pima. His 24th point off another three-ball had the Aztecs down two at the under seven-minute media timeout.

Brodric Thomas responded for the Spartans out of the timeout. He hit a three-pointer and made two free throws and gave Southwestern a seven-point edge. However, on the defensive end, he committed his fourth foul and had to head to the bench with 5:31 to go.

Down the stretch, the two teams went back-and-forth, trading baskets. With 2:20 to go, Alize Travis converted a three-point play to bring the Aztecs within three, 75-72. Thomas sank a pair of free throws with just over one minute left to give the Spartans a six-point lead.

A three from the left corner from Travis made it a three-point game. But free throws would ice the game for Southwestern who held on to win 81-75.

Southwestern Community College advances to play the winner of Game 15, (4) Parkland College vs. (5) Richard Bland College, on Friday at 6:30 pm CDT.

Southwestern - 81
Pima - 75

Spartan Leaders:
#10 Brodric Thomas - 25 pts, 8 rebs
#5 Jamil Maddred - 11 pts, 10 rebs
#11 Calvin Chambers - 13 pts, 4 rebs
#15 KeShawn Wilson - 4 pts, 9 rebs, 2 asts
#4 Lavon Hightower - 11 pts, 4/8 FG