The MCC Men's Basketball Team was back in action on November, 24 as they traveled to Bonne, IA to take on the DMACC Bears. The Bears entered the matchup at 6-2 and receiving votes in the NJCAA DII poll. The Tigers were coming off of a loss at NJCAA DII #18 John Wood.
The opening five minutes looked like both teams were taking an extended post-Thanksgiving-meal nap as play on both sides of the court was lethargic. However, the Tigers would wake up in time to make a second half run to put the Bears away.
The game featured two very different styles of play. The Tigers played organized, moved the ball well, and dominated the interior. Meanwhile, the Bears played chaotic at time and hurt themselves by missing point-blank shots and turning the ball over. A bright spot for the Bears was Tray Buchanan. Buchanan was unstoppable at times as he scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the first half. The lightning quick guard was effective both as a cutter and coming off of ball screens. In the first half alone, he complete three "and one" plays as he burst past his defender and into the lane. As a result of Buchanan and the DMACC guards cutting to the hoop both Tiger big men, Eduardo Lane and Bassirou Ndiaye were in early foul trouble and spent much of the first half on the bench.
The bench for the Tigers played many meaningful minutes in the contest against the Bears and made some big contributions. Edvid Tedesjo, a prototypical stretch-4 got forced into playing the 5 spot for much of the first half. Immediately, Tedesjo showed his range as he hit a three-point bucket. While those were his only three points of the game, he provided the Tigers with solid defensive play while helping the Tigers get through foul trouble in the first half. In addition to the usual suspects off the bench of JJ Foster and Bassirou Ndiaye, Myles Broadie and Palmi Thorsson provided some quality minutes in the first half and the latter knocked down a three on his only field goal attempt. Despite the foul trouble and at times lethargic play, the Tigers were down just one point, 38-39 at the half.
The Tigers played a much better second half on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they were led by sophomore Kelton Edwards who scored 17 of his team-high 23 in the second half. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers rallied to shooters and collapsed the lane when the ball entered to cutters. With a clear size advantage, MCC controlled the boards in the second half on their way to an 87-71 victory.
The Tigers will have a day of practice before taking on another tough NJCAA DII opponent when they host the Tritons of Iowa Central on November 26 for a 7 PM contest in the Student Activity Center.