Tritons come up short vs. Southwestern

Tritons come up short vs. Southwestern

The Iowa Central men were unable to keep the momentum going from a recent win, falling to Southwestern here Saturday inside Hodges Fieldhouse, 79-64.

After picking up a victory over Ellsworth last Wednesday, the Tritons (5-10 overall, 5-10 in ICCAC) just couldn't put together a run in the second half to threaten the Spartans (9-7, 9-7). 

Javonte Keck and Jaxon Smith each had double-doubles for Iowa Central, as Keck scored 21 points with 10 rebounds and Smith had 14 points and 12 boards. PJ Ngambi also hit double figures with 12 points and two assists.

"We had a couple chances to get a stop and turn the tide back in our favor, and we just couldn't do it," Iowa Central head coach Chad Helle said. "It's a matter of self-discipline and sticking to what we are trying to do. For whatever reason, we just couldn't put it together again."

The Tritons took a 20-11 lead in the first half on a Ngambi 3-pointer, completing a 0-0 run. Southwestern, though, answered with a 14-0 rally that gave them a lead they would never surrender.

Joe Kearney led five players in double figures with 18 as both Nate Duckworth and Justin Graham had double-doubles. Duckworth scored 17 with 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals while Graham had 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

The Spartans dominated inside the paint, outscoring Iowa Central 52-28. They were also plus-six in points off turnovers, capitalizing on 13 Triton miscues. 

"It's important that we keep putting in the effort in practice to improve," Helle said. "It starts there. We all - players and coaches - have to be better if we want to win games like this."

Iowa Central hits the road on Wednesday, paying a visit to Norfolk, Neb. to face Northeast. They return home next Saturday to play No. 13 (Div. I) Indian Hills. 

-By Dana Becker