SMC men’s team edges LMC, qualifies for Great Lakes District tourney

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

BENTON HARBOR — A big second half helped the Southwestern Michigan College men’s basketball team snap a three-game losing streak and earn a spot in the Great Lakes District Championships Tournament Tuesday night.

The visiting Roadrunners rallied from a 34-22 halftime deficit against Lake Michigan College to defeat the Red Hawks 62-60 as LMC missed a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with four seconds remaining in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference contest.

The SMC victory, coupled with a loss by Ancilla College locked the Roadrunners, who are playing basketball for the first time in 26 years, into the postseason tournament, which begins next week. Southwestern Michigan still must make up a game against Lansing Community College Thursday night before the pairings for the tournament can be released.

The Roadrunners (14-10, 5-6 Western Conference) are currently fourth in the standings. Glen Oaks currently holds third-place, a game ahead of SMC.

Against the Red Hawks (9-16, 5-7), the Roadrunners scored 40 second-half points to rally for the win.

Sean Burress (Harvey, Illinois) scored 18 points to lead the Roadrunners. He also had three steals and a pair of assists. Mari Nichols (Niles) added 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals, while Mark Williams (Chicago) finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Micah Johnson led the Red Hawks with 19 points, while Abdoulaya Ba added 13 points and Brian Hunter Jr 11.

Women’s Basketball

The Southwestern Michigan College women’s basketball team took no prisoners Tuesday night as it rolled past Lake Michigan College 59-35 to improve to 17-8 om the season and 7-5 in Western Conference contests.

The Roadrunners, who will wrap up the regular season Thursday in Lansing against the Stars, jumped out to a 17-6 lead after one quarter, which they increased to 32-12 advantage by halftime.

Southwestern Michigan led 50-18 heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

Cameron Thomas (Hazel Crest. Illinois) tossed in 21 points to lead the Roadrunners. She also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists and had a pair of steals. Naenae Kirkland (Grand Rapids) came off the bench to score 12 points and grab six rebounds.

Arial Ford had 20 points to lead the Red Hawks, who fall to 10-12 overall and 4-8 in Western Conference games.