The Southwestern men's basketball team split a pair of games over the weekend defeating William Penn JV, 118-66, on Friday night and falling to NJCAA D1 #6-ranked Indian Hills by a score of 86-67. The win pushed Indian Hills record to 10-0 on the season and avenged their 102-91 loss last season in Creston.
The Spartans played all but two minutes of Friday night's game without starting center, Gatdoar Kueth, who went out with an injury.
"We really competed Saturday night," said Spartan Head Coach Todd Lorensen. "There are plenty of things we need to clean up from the discipline side of things, but our effort was never in question."
Lorensen has a strong respect for Indian Hills program and knew the Spartans would have a battle on their hands.
"Hills is a great program and Coach Plona does a great job getting his talent to play together," explained Lorensen. "We have plenty of things we can build on from this."
Nate Lee hit a three-pointer just minutes into the game to tie the score at three. After back and forth action, Indian Hills took a 17-13 lead after a turnover lead to a transition dunk. Terence Shelby, Jr. hit a three on the last possession of the first half for the Spartans to cut the lead to 41-30 at the break.
"Despite being down I felt we were in a decent position," stated Lorensen. "We had so many empty possessions in the first half; I felt we could close the gap if we did a better job offensively."
Hills pushed their lead to 18 early in the second half but Southwestern continued to battle and chip away and eventually cut the deficit to 11 with just more than five minutes to play. Fouls and easy baskets out of the press led to the final score of 86-67.
Chad Moran paced the offense with 20 points while corralling a team-high seven rebounds. Shelby Jr. had 13 points and Alijah Thomas had 12 points and a team-high three assists. Khallid Edwards also finished in double figures with 11 points.
Southwestern is on the road at the Northeast (NE) Community College Classic on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, 2017. Friday is a 5 p.m. tip-off vs Briar Cliff JV and Saturday is a 1 p.m. tip-off vs NJCAA D1 Lake Region State.