WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College men's basketball team put an exciting end to a two-game skid Thursday evening. The Moundbuilders defeated the Threshers of Bethel College in overtime, 113-105, inside historic Stewart Field House.
Junior DJ Wallace led all scorers with a career-best 36 points. The Duncanville, Texas, native went 13-for-18 from the floor, and 10-for-16 at the free throw line, while grabbing seven rebounds. Fellow Duncanville native Cameron Hunt came up one point shy of a career-night. Hunt scored 34 points and grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Jacob Horsch was the only other Moundbuilder to post double figures, and drained three triples on his way to 10 points.
Deven Goodwin led Bethel with 31 points.
Southwestern (16-9, 9-8 KCAC) shot 59.2 percent (42-71) from the floor, and 28.6 percent (6-21) from three-point range. The Moundbuilders converted 65.7 percent (23-35) of their free throws, and out-rebounded the Threshers, 48-37.
Sophomore Brent Smith scored the first four points of the contest, and gave Southwestern a 4-0 lead less than a minute into the game. An old-fashioned three-point play from sophomore Cameron Hunt pushed the lead to 16-9 at the 15:24 mark. A 7-2 run over the next three minutes helped Bethel (11-14, 5-12 KCAC) pull to within one, 17-16, at the 12-minute mark. The Threshers took their first lead of the game, 25-23, on a triple with 9:55 to play, but a Barrington Hunter bucket sparked a 12-5 run over the next five minutes. Josh Howard capped the run with a bucket at the 5:37 mark, and gave Southwestern a 35-30 edge. The Moundbuilders achieved their largest lead of the half, 43-34, on a Hunt bucket with 2:06 to play, but Bethel closed the half on an 8-4 spurt to cut Southwestern's lead to 47-42 at halftime.
The Moundbuilders opened the second half on an 11-5 run, and pushed their lead into double figures for the first time. Smith hit a free throw at the 16:24 mark to give Southwestern a 58-47 advantage. Just under a minute later, DJ Wallace nailed a jumper to give the Moundbuilders their largest lead of the game, 62-49, with 15:30 remaining in regulation. But Bethel refused to go quietly. A 20-7 run over the next six minutes forced a 69-69 tie with 9:48 still to play. Southwestern answered with an 8-0 run to push its lead to 77-69 at the 8:04 mark, but the Threshers countered with a 9-1 run over the next three minutes, and forced a 78-78 deadlock with 5:24 remaining. The Builders built their lead back to four twice over the next two minutes, but the Threshers answered, and forced an 88-88 tie with 2:27 to play. Bethel took its first lead of the second half with 1:51 to play, and pushed its lead to 93-88 with just under 90 seconds to play. A 5-2 Southwestern spurt helped pull the Moundbuilders back to within two, 95-93, after a pair of Wallace freebies with 53 seconds to play. Bethel answered with a pair of free throws to take a 97-93 lead at the 37-second mark. Hunt drove to the bucket for to, and pulled SC to within two, 97-95, with 28 seconds remaining, and Southwestern's defense took over from there. A full-court trap forced an errant pass, which was intercepted by Alan Hodge near mid-court. Hodge found a wide-open Hunter, who had just missed a potential go-ahead three-ball on the previous possession, and Hunter converted an easy lay-up to force a 97-97 tie with 21 seconds remaining. Bethel used a time-out to draw up a potential game-winning play, and the Threshers executed the play to near perfection, but Chase Bannister's triple rimmed out, and the game went to overtime knotted at 97-97.
Southwestern controlled the overtime period from the start. Hunt scored the opening bucket of the extra period, and Jacob Horsch followed with a spot-up triple to give the Moundbuilders a 102-97 lead with 3:47 to play. DJ Wallace scored Southwestern's next seven points, and gave his team a 109-101 lead with 1:41 to play. Bethel was only able to muster a jumper and a pair of free throws from that point forward, and a pair of Hunt free throws in the waning seconds gave Southwestern the 113-105 overtime victory.
Thursday's win moves Southwestern to 16-9 on the season, and 9-8 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Moundbuilders will return to action Saturday, traveling to Sterling for a date with the Warriors of Sterling College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. inside the Gleason Center.