State Fair men’s basketball used 3-pointers to build leads over Southeastern Community College, but never found the exclamation point to put the visiting Blackhawks away.
Punctuation was unnecessary for the Roadrunners on Tuesday, rallying around 14 team threes and 22 points from Vonny Irvin in an 86-76 victory over Southeastern at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center in Sedalia.
While the big dunk didn’t land for SFCC, the Roadrunners splashed nine threes over the Blackhawk defenders. Southeastern head coach Terry Carroll called time outs after Roadrunner threes built a 2-point lead early, and a 25-19 lead five minutes later.
Onteral Woodson Jr. scored 16 points on four threes and free throws apiece. Corey Mendez had 14 points and a trio of 3-pointers. Russell Baker and Amir Smith scored 11 points each.
The Blackhawks crept within one point of State Fair, 62-61 in the second half, before three SFCC free throws separated the teams for good.
Roadrunners head coach Kevin Thomas said allowing Southeastern back into the game was a defensive disappointment.
“We’re still an immature team,” Thomas said. “We have got to figure out ways to play with a lead. We got up double-digits tonight, and we let teams back in. That was why we lost Saturday night.”
State Fair (5-1) led by as much as 16 before its first loss Saturday at Marshalltown, 77-76.
The Roadrunners were shooting 34 percent from three on 102 attempts going into Tuesday’s game. State Fair had success shooting over the Blackhawk guards, but Thomas said a more concentrated effort possession-to-possession will help dismiss opponents earlier.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that this is their first college basketball season,” Thomas said. “They don’t understand how hard you have to play and the level you have to get to, and sustain that level in order to be good. We’re not good at stacking possessions … Having a good offensive possession, getting an open shot, and coming down and getting a stop and a rebound and being able to do that continuously.”
SFCC men’s and women’s basketball host the Stone Laser Imaging Classic on Friday, Nov. 18-19. The Lady Roadrunners (2-3) host Central Community College-Columbus and Malcolm X College at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The men host Westminster and Kennedy-King College at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, respectively at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center in Sedalia.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.