Danville, IL – Southwestern Community College and Delta College faced off in the 2018 NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament in the third place, championship consolation game.
Seven of the first 10 points in the game came from Delta. The next 23 came from Southwestern. The Spartans whipped the ball around the perimeter finding open shooter after open shooter. Southwestern knocked down six three-pointers, two from Terence Shelby Jr., two Alijah Thomas, one from Rasheed Barze and one from Khallid Edwards.
The 23-0 run gave the Spartans a commanding 26-7 lead in the early going.
Delta, after not scoring a field goal for nearly six minutes, began to ease their way back into the game. Sparked by Justin Person and Martel Handley, the Pioneers scored six unanswered points; then later, 13 unanswered points.
The Pioneers had the game within six points, 38-32 with 3:38 left in the half.
A basket from Thomas ended a three-minute scoring drought for the Spartans, who shot 8 for 21 from three-point range in the first half.
In the final two minutes, Delta scored nine points to Southwestern's three and was within three themselves, 44-41 at the half.
Southwestern – 44
#1 Alijah Thomas, 6', So. -11pts, 3asts, 3 stls
#2 Khallid Edwards, 5'8, So. -10pts, 2-4 3PT
#33 Rasheed Barze, 6'1, Fr. -10pts, 5rebs, 4-5 FG
#23 Terence Shelby Jr., 6'2, So. -9pts, 3-7 3PT
#1 Martel Handley, 6'2, So. -14pts, 8rebs, 7-9 FG
#5 Justin Person, 5'10, So. -10pts
#22 Peyton Miller, 6'5, Fr. -6pts, 3rebs
Three points are worth more than two, and that was the theme of the game and particularly the second half.
Shelby started the half with two threes for Southwestern that kept Delta waiting in the wings. However, twice in the first six minutes, Delta was able to tie the game, once at 50 all, the other at 54.
Even still, Southwestern kept firing from the outside. From off the bench, D'Marqueyon Whittington and Ryan Warren drained threes for the Spartans to aid an 8-0 run. They wouldn't look back from there.
Delta made 15 second-half field goals, only one of which was a three-pointer. Southwestern, on the other hand, made 18 field goals in the second half, 11 of which were threes.
Shelby made eight alone himself, two during a 14-4 run that gave the Spartans a 14 point lead with 7:03 to go in the game. Edwards also made two during that stretch. Both finished the game with over 20 points, 28 for Shelby and 21 for Edwards.
As the game wound down, Delta was unable to rally or gain any momentum. Southwestern lead by 17 when it was all over, 98-81.
Southwestern Community College finishes the year 29-8 and in third place at the 2018 NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament. Delta College finishes 22-8 and in fourth place.
Southwestern – 98
#1 Alijah Thomas, 6', So. -14pts, 7asts, 4 stls , 2-5 3PT
#2 Khallid Edwards, 5'8, So. – 21pts, -10 FG, 5-8 3PT
#33 Rasheed Barze, 6'1, Fr. – 12pts, 7rebs, 5-6 FG
#23 Terence Shelby Jr., 6'2, So. – 28pts, 8rebs, 9-16 FG, 8-14 3PT
#15 Chad Moran, 6'4, Fr. – 11pts, 4rebs, 7-8 FT
#1 Martel Handley, 6'2, So. – 20pts, 12rebs, 5 TOs 10-18 FG #5 Justin Person, 5'10, So. – 19pts, 8-15 FG #22 Virgil Walker, 6'6, So. – 12pts, 5-6 FG, 4-5 FT #10 Jaylen Fykes, 6'4, Fr. – 8pts, 4rebs