Contact: JT Burton
March 21, 2017
The Motlow State Bucks used a dominating rebounding performance and 39 combined points from its starting guards Tuesday morning to beat Coffeyville (Kan.) 78-59 in the opening round of the NJCAA Men's National Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.
The Bucks (29-5), the No. 14 seed in the 24-team field, advance to the second round where they will face No. 3 Georgia Highlands at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be broadcast live at www.njcaatv.com.
With the victory over Coffeyville, the Bucks set a new all-time record for wins in a single season, eclipsing the old mark of 28 set during the 2007-08 season.
Motlow got 24 points, six assists and five rebounds from Isaiah Hart and 15 points and eight assists from Javion Hamlet Tuesday. The two freshmen have been consistent for the Bucks all season, and combined with a 49-23 rebounding advantage inside, keyed the second win in a national tournament in Motlow men's basketball history.
After Coffeyville scored the first bucket of the game, Motlow took its first lead with 17:55 remaining in the first half and never trailed again. Hart, who connected on 6-11 three-pointers, hit two over the next four minutes to increase Motlow's lead to 15-10. Hamlet then scored six straight points over the next two minutes and the Bucks led 21-12 with 11:25 left in the half.
Motlow increased its lead to 32-17 with 4:40 left in the half, but Coffeyville chipped away and closed the gap to 38-28 at intermission. After the lead shrunk to seven points, 40-33 with 17:40 left in the game, Hart hit a three pointer and Hamlet scored a bucket and sank two free throws and the lead was stretched to 49-35 with 15 minutes to play. Coffeyville never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Aleksandar Zecevic scored nine points and pulled down six rebounds, Rashawn Fredericks scored eight with six rebounds, and Kevonte Corley had five points with 11 rebounds and two assists. Dillon Smith had six points and two steals, Damarcus Williams and Chad Emmons each scored four, and Ross Plunkett hit a three pointer.