Spartans end season as third in the nation

Spartan men's basketball team
The Southwestern Spartan basketball team following their third place finish at the NJCAA DII National Championship in Danville, IL.

The Southwestern Spartans wrapped up another tremendous men’s basketball season on Saturday, March 24, 2018, with a third place finish at the NJCAA DII National Basketball Championship in Danville, IL.

During the tournament, the Spartans went 3-1, defeating Dakota County Technical College, 92-77, on Wednesday; Erie Community College, 68-66, on Thursday; and Delta College, 98-81, in the consolation game on Saturday. The Spartans’ lone loss was during semifinal action against #1-seeded Triton College with a score of 67-85. Triton would ultimately become the national tourney champions beating Pima in the final game Saturday night.

Southwestern Head Coach Todd Lorensen was impressed with his team’s efforts.

“This group made a great run to finish third in the nation,” stated Lorensen. “They grew as a unit throughout the season and it allowed them to accomplish what very few teams get to do.”

Lorensen was quick to point out the team’s success was due to assistance from many individuals.

“I’m proud of all the hard work our administration, staff, and players put in to help accomplish this tremendous season,” commented Lorensen. “We were so thankful to be able to share this with our Spartan fan base as well; they offer us incredible support throughout the year.”

In addition to the team success, two Spartan players received individual tournament honors as well. Terence Shelby, Jr., of Peoria, IL, a red-shirt sophomore, was named to the All-Tournament Team and Khallid Edwards of Des Moines, also a red-shirt sophomore, received the Jack Cistriano Best Small Man Award.

The Spartans ended their season with an overall record of 29-8 and a conference record of 8-4. They averaged 89.3 points per game.