3/18/16
The Moberly Area Comm. College Men’s Basketball Team ended their remarkable late season surge with an 84-74 loss to host Hutchinson Comm. College at the NJCAA National Tournament. The defeat came after a very satisfying 85-74 victory over Indian Hills in the opening round of the tournament which avenged two previous losses to the Warriors from Ottumwa, Iowa. After falling behind 3-0, Cecil Williams hit a three pointer to tie the game and Moberly never trailed again. However, after having an 11 point lead midway thru the first half, Moberly saw Indian Hills come back to get within 40-37 at the half. After seeing the score tied twice, Moberly Area CC spurted and gain a 12 point lead with 6 minutes remaining behind transition baskets by 6’0” sophomore Daniel Dzierzawski. The lead never got below 6 points down the stretch. Dzierzawski lead the Greyhounds in scoring with 30 points, including 14 of 16 from the free throw line, while fellow backcourt mate Rashad Lindsey added 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. 6’4” sophomore wing Jalen David contributed 11 points and Williams had 9 points. Wichita State transfer Ria’n Holland lead Indian Hills in scoring with 21 points while Baylor University signee Nuni Omot had 12 points and Indiana University transfer Emmitt Holt added 11 points. Moberly hit 6 of 15 threes and 23 of 28 from the free throw line while Indian Hills was 6 of 26 from behind the arc and 20 of 28 from the charity line. Indian Hils ends their season with a 30-4 record. Indian Hills was the #10 seed while the Greyhounds were seeded #23.

“Our players were definitely ready to play against a very good Indian Hills team,” said Coach Pat Smith, “We stayed the course which allowed us to hold off their rallies and maintain control of the game. Dzierzawski and Lindsey seemed to get every big basket and all of our players truly lent themselves to a tremendous defensive and rebounding effort. Although Indian Hills had beat us twice, we felt we had not played our best game against them and I’m thankful it was tonight.”

HUTCHINSON 85, MOBERLY 74

The Greyhounds had made a recent history of coming out and jumping on opponents early. The reverse happened vs. Hutchinson CC as the tournament hosts grabbed an early 11-0 lead behind two made three pointers by Pinder and Hoffman. Moberly fought back and got within three points on two occasions but trailed 46-35 at the half. The Greyhounds got within 57-53 with 13 minutes remaining but could not get any closer the remainder of the game. Moberly was lead in scoring by sophomores Chris Clark with 20 points(4-9 from three point range), Rashad Lindsey with 18 points and 5 assists while forward Cecil Williams had a very strong performance with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Akbar Hoffman had a career high 29 points while Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year and St. Johns University signee Bashir Ahmed had 22 points and 12 rebounds. The 6’9” post Keanu Pinder added 12 points and 9 rebounds. The game was decided on the glass as Hutchinson grabbed 22 offensive rebounds which they turned into 23 points.

Hutchison improved their record to 30-4 while Moberly ended their season with a 25-11 record along with an NJCAA Region 16 championship and District IV Title. Hutchinson moved onto the NJCAA National Tournament quarterfinals where they defeated defending National Champions Northwest Florida State CC 116-90 on Thursday evening.

“Obviously with nearly a packed house, the start of the game was crucial for our team to get off to a good start,” said MACC Coach Patrick Smith, “Hutch seemed to ride the crowd’s momentum and came out clicking on all cylinders. They were hitting an average of 5 three pointers per game and they hit 5 treys in the first 9 minutes of the game. Our players kept battling so hard and I thought our first shot defense was pretty good, which we take pride in. However, we could not keep them off the offensive glass and their ability to manufacture points off the boards was huge. WE were so close a couple of times to making it a one possession game but never could bridge that gap. Hutchinson is an outstanding team with who I consider the premiere player in the country in Ahmed. I felt their length was just a huge factor in the game both off the glass and in protecting their basket. Their game plan was based on stopping Dzierzawsi and with that said, thought sophmores Lindsey, Clark and Williams stepped up huge to keep us in the game. I am so proud of what this team did, how they kept battling against the odds today and so happy for our fans that they got to see the Hounds play again in Hutch.”

 

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