Roadrunners improve to 17-1 in home games with sweep
Published 12:41 pm Monday, January 30, 2023
DOWAGIAC — There is no place like home.
The Southwestern Michigan College women’s and men’s basketball teams continued to play well in the 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse as they swept Lansing Community College in a Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
The Roadrunners are a combined 17-1 following a 68-52 win over the Stars by the women’s basketball team and a come-from-behind 79-73 victory by the men’s basketball squad.
Southwestern Michigan is a perfect 9-0 as it squared iets Western Conference mark at 2-2 and improved its overall record to 12-6.
The Roadrunners used a fast start at the beginning of each half to knock off Lansing.
Southwestern Michigan led 22-12 after the first 10 minutes of the opening half, but could pull away from the Stars. The Roadrunners outscored Lansing 20-15 in the third quarter to open up a 54-40 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Stars (3-14, 0-5 Western Conference) made several runs at the Roadrunners during the contest, including the fourth quarter, but SMC was able to fend off each one by hitting key shots, from both inside and outside, and creating turnovers with a strong defensive effort.
“We have been looking for that this year since returning back from the break, that 40-minute effort,” said SMC Coach Jeanine Wasielewski said. “We had that against Grand Rapids, but we just have not put down that 40-minute effort like we did today. I think everyone was pleased with that.”
The Roadrunners shot the ball well against the Stars, especially from beyond the 3-point arc. Southwestern Michigan hit 26-of-55 attempts from the field (47 percent), including 9-of-22 (41 percent) on 3-point shots.
The Roadrunners also outrebounded Lansing 43-34.
Cameron Thomas (Hazel Crest, Illinois) led Southwestern Michigan with a game-high 21 points. Macey Laubach (Edwardsburg) added 15 points and Ariana Lemons (Michigan City, Indiana) 11 points. Thomas, Laubach and Lemon all had six rebounds, while Laubach added four assists.
Tori Eldgridge (Goshen, Indiana) contributed eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Olivia Green and Riley Merryfield both had 13 points to pace the Stars.
The Roadrunners head to Centreville Wednesday night to take on Glen Oaks Community College in another Western Conference contest.
The resilience of the Roadrunners was on full display Saturday afternoon in its win over Lansing.
Southwestern Michigan (11-6, 2-2 Western Conference) rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit in the opening 20 minutes to trim the Stars’ lead to 37-33 at halftime.
The Roadrunners erased a 13-point second-half lead to pick up the victory and run their home record to 8-1.
“The one thing about this team is we are very really resilient, I know these guys are going to show up,” said SMC Coach Rodell Davis. “It doesn’t matter what the last outcome was, the most important game for us is the next one.”
One of the things that Davis likes about his team, besides its fight and desire, is that every night a different player can step up and lead the Roadrunners.
On Saturday afternoon, Davis needed every one that took the court to contribute.
“We know we have some players that can compete at a high level,” he said. “We play guards, we play five guards at certain times to pick up tempo a little bit, and it works for us. I am excited to continue to coach this team. I think we are only going to get better.”
Davis went with that smaller lineup in the second-half which allowed the Roadrunners to outscore the Stars 46-36 in the final 20 minutes.
With the game tied at 69-69 with 4:29 remaining, Southwestern Michigan outscored Lansing 10-4 to earn the victory.
Rashawn Bost (Evanston, Illinois) was on fire from the field for the Roadrunners as he scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range. He also had four rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.
Sean Burress (Harvey, Illinois) added 19 points, 10 assists and four steals, while Mari Nichols (Niles) finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Mikel Forrest (Niles) had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Connor Bush had 21 points for the Stars, who also got 17 points from Thomas Dodd and 13 points from Freddy Johnson.
The Roadrunners head to Centreville to face Glen Oaks Community College in a Western Conference Wednesday night.