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Last-second 3-pointer puts Southwest past Co-Lin

A Tada Stricklen 3-pointer with four seconds remaining ended up being the difference Monday night as Southwest Mississippi Community College knocked off Copiah-Lincoln C.C. 74-71 in Wesson.

Co-Lin had tied the score at 71-71 on a layup by freshman guard Daniel Smothers that came with 24 seconds remaining in the game.

Strickland — a Morehead State transfer by way of Corinth High — dribbled out most the following possession near half court before hitting his game winner.

The atmosphere looked nothing like a typical Southwest verses Co-Lin affair as the Wolves are playing with a very limited home crowd in Mullen Gymnasium this season.

The rival schools usually play in a packed house that sees their biggest crowds of the year.

What was typical for the rivalry was the closeness of the outcome, though — the teams split their two matchups last season with both games being decided by three points each.

The Bears (1-0) are a team with plenty of size — they list eight players on their roster 6-foot-6 or taller.

Co-Lin (1-1) head coach Kenny Bizot said that size had an effect on his team at times.

“Southwest is a team that has a lot of length and I think that affected us,” said Bizot. “Our guys have got to be more disciplined at getting better shots against a good team.”

CLCC led 38-37 at halftime. They were powered in the opening half by sophomore guard J.D. Allen (Wesson). Allen scored 13 points in the first half and finished the night with a team-high 16.

“Really pleased and impressed with the way J.D. played tonight,” said Bizot. “He didn’t play his best game last week and he listened and worked to improve that effort tonight.”

Allen also grabbed five rebounds and made five steals. CLCC also got 13 points each from Smothers and sophomore TJ Monroe.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, just like Co-Lin’s opening night win over Delgado last week.

The score was tied seven times in the second half as the teams swapped the lead nine times.

Michael Barber — a 6-foot-8 center who like Stricklen is a redshirt sophomore after spending two seasons at Howard University — led Southwest with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Stricklen scored 18 points.

Southwest finished 17-of-23 from the free throw line while Co-Lin went 6-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Co-Lin was also scheduled to play Southwest in a matchup of their women’s teams, but that game has been postponed to a later date.

Coach Gwyn Young and the Lady Wolves host Hinds at 6 p.m. Thursday in their season opener. The Wolves will play Hinds on the road in Utica at the same time.

Hinds (1-0) knocked off Meridian 63-61 in their men’s matchup Monday night with a game winner that came with just one second left.