MESA, Ariz. - After a nearly two week break from action, the Seward County men's basketball kept their hot hand, defeating their second straight ranked opponent, downing the No. 12 Snow Badgers 76-71 to open the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout.
Seward came out firing, drilling their first four shots as they took a 10-4 lead. The Badgers were head the first six minutes without a field goal, picking up their four points from free throws. While Snow struggled to find the basket, the Saints took a 15-4 lead, as Montrevion Flowers scored 10 points in the opening six minutes. After making their first shot however, Snow battled back to make it a four-point game just before the media timeout, 20-16.
The Badgers hit their next two shots coming out of the break to take the lead, but it wouldn't last as Isiah Small connected on a layup to put Seward back on top. Snow entered another lull, going on a five-minute scoring drought as the Saints pushed their lead back up to six with a score of 27-21. The lead stayed at six points until the Badgers hit a buzzer beating three to end the quarter and cut the lead to three as the Saints entered the half on top, 39-36.
Snow came out of the half and hit two free throws to cut the lead to one, but a 12-0 run by the Saints following the free throws gave Seward breathing room. and put the Saints up 13 points. The Seward defense kept the Badgers from getting too close, keeping the lead at double-digits at the media timeout, leading 57-47.
Seward stayed in control of the game, keeping the Badgers at a distance until the final minute of the game. With a 1:30 left in the game, the Badgers made one last attempt to come away with the win, cutting their deficit to five points, but the Saints held on, making nine of their final ten free throws, to win 76-71.
The Saints shot 50 percent (26-for-52) from the floor and 47.1 percent (8-for-17) from deep while holding the Badges to 34.8 percent (23-for66) from the field and 32.6 percent (14-for-43) from deep. Seward move the ball well, coming away with 18 assists.
Five Saints scored in double-figures, led by freshman Marco Morency's 15 points. Isiah Small (13 pts), Montrevion Flowers (12 pts), Hegel Augustin (11 pts) and Reggie Miller (11 pts) also reached double-figures. The Saints came away with eight blocks, with Small coming away with half of them.
Seward advances to the semifinals of the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout where they will play Mesa at 7:00 p.m. on Friday (December 28) in Mesa, Arizona.