WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College men's basketball team opened the 2015-16 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship tournament with a statement win Thursday evening. The Moundbuilders eliminated the Eagles of Oklahoma Wesleyan, 83-56, inside historic Stewart Field House.
Southwestern (25-6) led for all but 61 seconds in Thursday's quarterfinal contest. The Moundbuilders knocked down 11 triples, and grabbed nine more rebounds than Oklahoma Wesleyan (14-16). Southwestern held a 17-point halftime advantage, and pushed its lead to as many as 30 late in the game before walking off the floor with a 27-point quarterfinal victory.
How it Happened…
-Oklahoma Wesleyan drained a triple just 10 seconds into the contest to give the Eagles their only lead of the game. Southwestern answered with back-to-back treys from Cameron Hunt and Cameron Clark, which sparked an 18-3 Moundbuilder run. A DJ Wallace bucket capped the run at the 13:39 mark, and gave Southwestern an 18-6 lead. The Eagles scored five-straight points to pull back within seven, 18-11, with 12:14 to play. The two teams exchanged buckets for the next six minutes, but Southwestern began to pull away late in the half. Back-to-back buckets from Clark and Reggie Surrell sparked a 14-6 run over the next four minutes, and gave Southwestern a 39-23 lead after a Bryan Lipsey trey with 2:26 to play. A pair of Chris Waller free throws gave Southwestern its largest lead of the half, 43-25, with 17 seconds to play, and when the halftime horn sounded, the Moundbuilders held a 45-28 advantage.
-Southwestern achieved its first 20-point lead less than four minutes into the second half, and it came when Hunt converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 16:08 mark that gave the white-clad Moundbuilders a 55-34 edge. Oklahoma Wesleyan was never able to mount a serious threat in the second half. Clark pushed the margin past 25 points for the first time with a lay-in at the 9:36 mark to give Southwestern a 70-44 lead. Seven minutes later, a Wallace bucket gave the Moundbuilders their largest lead of the game, 81-51, with 2:21 still to play. The Eagles closed the game on a 5-2 spurt, but the damage had been done long ago, and Southwestern cruised into the semifinal round with an 83-56 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Inside the Box Score…
-Cameron Clark led all scorers with 21 points in Thursday's contest, and was one of our different Moundbuilders to post double figures in the win. Chris Waller added 18 points, while DJ Wallace and Bryan Lipsey finished with 11 points each. Lennell Monroe and Cameron Hunt narrowly missed double figures, and scored nine points each.
-Clark and Waller led all rebounders with eight boards, while Wallace added seven rebounds.
-Ryan Schuessler scored 19 points to lead Oklahoma Wesleyan.
-Southwestern shot 52.5 percent (31-59) from the floor, and 40.7 percent (11-27) from three-point range in Thursday's contest. The Moundbuilders converted 71.4 percent (10-14) of their free throws, and out-rebounded the Eagles, 44-35.
With Thursday's quarterfinal win, the Moundbuilders have advanced to the KCAC Semifinal contest. Southwestern will host Saint Mary Saturday evening. The Spires defeated Bethany, 95-79, Thursday evening in Leavenworth. Tip-off of Saturday's semifinal contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside historic Stewart Field House.