Choctaws end Regular Season with loss to Delta State
CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Mississippi College men’s basketball team erased a 14-point first half deficit, but closed the 2014-15 season with a 71-70 loss to Delta State University on Thursday night at Walter Sillers Coliseum.
In a game that saw 10 ties and 12 lead changes, the Choctaws (11-13, 9-13 GSC) came all the way back to take a 70-64 lead with 2:48 remaining after junior Tristan Moore grabbed a steal and went the other way with a dunk. Moore led the Choctaws with 24 points, scoring 20 in the second half.
The Statesmen (15-13, 12-10 GSC), led by Jack Madgen’s two three-pointers, scored the final seven points of the game to get the victory. MC had the final shot of the game as the buzzer sounded, but freshman Stacey Mack, who scored 12 points, saw the attempt go wide.
Things looked rough for the Choctaws in the early going as they were down 29-15 with 7:37 remaining in the first half, but MC would go on a run and cut the lead to 36-30 at the halftime break. The comeback was made despite three starters, Emmanuel Ezejiofo, Stacey Mack and Tory Rice, picking up three fouls in the first half.
As the second half began, Moore got the Choctaws back into the game tying it up at 41-41 with 16:46 remaining on a layup. Junior Christian Robbins would give the Choctaws their first lead of the second half at 52-50 with 11:37 remaining on a spin move and score in the paint.
The game would remain within four points in the final minutes until Moore’s swipe-and-slam gave the Choctaws their largest lead of the night at 70-64. The Statesmen closed the game on a 7-0 run to sweep the season series with the Choctaws.
The Choctaws went 18-of-22 (82%) from the free throw line on the night, led by Moore going 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Junior Giancarlo Santiago had a team-high seven rebounds, while senior Jay Case set a career-high with six boards.
It was the final games in the careers of Case, Jaron Edwards, Ezejiofo, and Rayner Fredrick. Case scored six points, while Edwards had three points, each knocking down a three-pointer. Ezejiofo had nine points and two rebounds for MC.
Devin Schmidt led the Statesmen with 27 points, going 11-of-17 from the field and 4-of-9 from the three-point line. Former Choctaw LaQuavius Cotton had 13 points on the night.
The Choctaws closed out their first season back in Division II and the Gulf South Conference after spending 19 years in the American Southwest Conference and Division III.
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