The Iowa Central men snapped their six-game losing skid in convincing fashion here Wednesday night, rolling past Ellsworth, 72-54.
With the win, the Tritons (5-9 overall, 5-9 in ICCAC) completed a season sweep of the Panthers (1-14, 1-14), having also earned a victory in Iowa Falls in January, 81-79.
Much like when Iowa Central started the year 4-0, it was a balanced attack that got the job done.
"We aren't quite to the point we were there earlier, but we played much better (Wednesday night)," Iowa Central head coach Chad Helle said. "We rebounded the ball well, we shot the ball well and we played better defense when we needed to."
PJ Ngambi had 20 points and four assists to lead the Tritons while Uzo Dibiamaka had a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds with two assists. Jaxon Smith scored 19 and had five boards, and Ayris Abdelanssar added 11 off the bench.
In a game that featured the top scorers in the ICCAC coming into the night, Ellsworth's Adam Jackson scored 27. However, just 12 came in the second half when Abdelnassar used his athleticism to bother him.
"That's what we need out of Ayris," Helle said. "Somebody willing to step up and take on the best scorer and limit him. He did a great job in the second half."
After falling behind 14-4 early, the Tritons relied on a patient attack to mount a comeback. They took a 30-28 lead into the break behind five consecutive points from Abdelnassar, including a three-pointer. The sophomore also had two steals.
Javonte Keck chipped in nine points and nine rebounds, including a huge "hustle" play after missing a dunk by getting the loose ball and finding Dibiamaka for a triple.
"That was just a big play," Helle said. "Javonte could have got down on himself, but he made up for it instead in a big, big way. That's what a sophomore is supposed to do."
Iowa Central returns to action on Saturday, hosting Southwestern at 3 p.m.
-By Dana Becker