Photo Courtesy of Deb Edwards
Southwestern pulls away in the second half to defeat Louisburg 77-53 in the Division II title.
Danville, IL – Game 26 of the 2017 NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament was the championship game that featured the top seed Southwestern Community College against Louisburg College the 3-seed.
Louisburg's Mikeil Watkins put in the first lay up of the game and knocked in a three-pointer to give the Hurricans the initial advantage, 7-2. Southwestern would counter minutes later and on an Alijah Thomas three, took the lead 9-7, capping a 7-0 Spartan run.
The teams tied the game twice before Southwestern would go on a run starting at the eight-minute mark. Jordan Johnson and Brodric Thomas both made threes during a two-minute spurt and Louisburg was forced to call a timeout down 25-15 and momentum in Southwestern's favor.
Ten points would be the Spartans largest lead of the half. Louisburg rallied and ended the half on a 6-2 run, cutting the Hurricanes deficit to six as the teams headed into the locker room.
Southwestern – 31
Louisburg – 25
#3 Brodric Thomas – 6'5, Fr. – 9pts, 4/8 FG, 3rebs
#10 Jordan Johnson – 6', So. – 5pts, 2asts
#4 Lavon Hightower – 6'5, So. – 4pts, 5rebs
#21 Mikeil Watkins – 5'11, Fr. – 9pts, 2rebs
#15 Derek McKnight – 6'1, So. – 4pts, 2rebs
#5 Troy Locke – 6'3, So. – 4pts, 2rebs, 2stls
With 14:25 in the half, a layup by Justice Cuthbertson capped off a 10-4 run over the first five and half minutes for Louisburg and the game was all knotted up at 35.
The teams battled on the defensive end for the next four minutes as neither team could separate themselves. Hurricane Josh Bougher put in a middle of the lane fade-away in traffic to put the game at 42-40 in favor of Southwestern.
The Spartans would then take control of the game. A three pointer by Jamil Maddred and another by Brodric Thomas sparked a 10-2 Spartan rally and gave Southwestern a 52-42 lead.
The score ballooned to 20 points after a 13-1 run from the 3:03 mark to the 1:38 mark. In control of the game, a bevy of Spartans made 15 of their final 16 free throw attempts that kept the game out of reach.
Southwestern won 77-53.
Southwestern – 77
Louisburg – 53
#3 Brodric Thomas – 6'5, Fr. – 18pts
#10 Jordan Johnson – 6', So. – 10pts
#4 Lavon Hightower – 6'5, So. – 11pts
#15 KeShawn Wilson – 6'2, So. – 10pts
#5 Jamil Maddred – 6'5, So. – 11pts
#21 Mikeil Watkins – 5'11, Fr. – 9pts
#5 Troy Locke – 6'3, So. – 14pts
#11 Justice Cuthbertson – 6'2, So. – 10pts