MCC Men's Basketball opened up ICCAC play at home on Wednesday, January 16. The conference opponent was NJCAA DI #13 Indian Hills. The Tigers entered the matchup with an overall record of 11-8. Meanwhile, the Warriors came into the contest at 15-4 and on a three game winning streak.
The game was played in front of the largest crowd of the season. As a tradition, one men's basketball game per season is used as a fundraiser for a local charity or need. This year, half of the gate is being donated to relief funds of the tornado that swept through Marshalltown on the afternoon of Thursday, July 19. That total amounts to nearly $350.
The Warriors came into the game with an obvious strategy. They were going to make the home team beat them from the perimeter. The Warrior defenders sagged off of the Tiger ball handlers and clogged the lane. Due to the strategy, the Tigers found their big man, Eduardo Lane ineffective. Lane, who is averaging eleven points per contest was held to only two points.
Meanwhile, with defenders sagging, the Tigers were left open from three point range as the Warriors dared them to win from deep. In the first half, the Tigers attempted fourteen three-point attempts. Unfortunately for the Tigers, only three of those attempts found the bottom of the net. Fortunately for the Tigers, the Warriors found themselves struggling to score as well. At the end of the first half, the Tigers led 30-29 after a jumper by Nick Fleming with just 0.3 seconds left to play in the half.
The second half saw both teams largely sticking to their strategy. However, Indian Hills made one major adjustment. With the Tiger big men being largely ineffective, the home team went with a smaller lineup. With a smaller defensive lineup, the Warriors found themselves able to attack the rim with little resistance.
While the Warriors attempted nine three-point shots in the first half, they attempted only four in the second half. The thirteen three-point attempts on the night were out of character for the Warriors who average 27 three-point attempts per game. After scoring 20 points in the paint in the first half, the rim attacking Warriors scored 40 points in the paint in the second half.
While the Tigers were able to stay close throughout the majority of the game, a series of mini runs opened the game up. While the score was tied eight times and there were twelve lead changes, eventually the Warriors were able to open up a 23 point lead and were up 20 points when the final buzzer sounded.
Torrey Patton led the way for the Warriors with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers had four players register double-digit points with Nick Fleming (14), Kelton Edwards (11), Goran Vidovic (10), and Bassirou Ndiaye (10) all scoring at least ten points. Ndiaye paced the Tiger rebounders with 13 and JJ Foster led the Tigers in assists with six.