No. 7 Trojans move to regional final

NIACC's Deundra Roberson dunks in the second half of Thursday's regional semifinal victory. Photo by NIACC's Jim Zach
NIACC's Deundra Roberson dunks in the second half of Thursday's regional semifinal victory. Photo by NIACC's Jim Zach

MASON CITY - The No. 7 NIACC men's basketball team made history Thursday night.

NIACC claimed a hard-fought 90-82 victory over Iowa Lakes in the NJCAA Region XI semifinals and collected a school-record 25th win, which broke the old mark of 24 held by the 1995 Trojans, who won the NJCAA Division II national title.

The win also moved the Trojans to the regional title game for the first time since the magical 1995 season. In 1995, NIACC topped Iowa Lakes 83-75 in the regional title game in the NIACC gym.

NIACC had topped Iowa Lakes twice during the regular season (119-110 in Mason City and 107-94 in Estherville).

"We knew they (the Lakers) were going to come out with energy," said sophomore guard Kyle Lang, who led NIACC off the bench with 20 points. "Basically, we just had to be more intense and it paid off." 

Second-seed NIACC (25-4) faces top-seed Kirkwood in the regional finals at 3 p.m. Saturday in Cedar Rapids. NIACC and Kirkwood split their two regular season games this season with each team winning on their own home court.

In Thursday's game, Lang, who played extended minutes due to foul trouble to starting guards Quentin Hardrict and Deundra Roberson, was 6 of 9 from the field, including a 4 of 7 performance from 3-point range. Lang also had five rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Lang's previous career high was 19 points against Little Priest Tribal College on Feb. 13.

"We mesh really well as a team," Lang said. "When one man goes down with foul trouble, it's the next man up.

"When my number's called, I have to step up and make plays.'

The Trojans also received 14 points and six rebounds off the bench from freshman Trey Sampson. Freshmen Chandler Dean and Quentin Hardrict both scored 13 points.

NIACC was 24 of 35 from the free-throw line while Iowa Lakes was 8 of 15.

NIACC led 40-32 at the half and pushed its lead to 13 points with 14:05 to play in the second half.

Iowa Lakes, however, trimmed the Trojan lead to 73-71 with about five minutes left in the contest.

Dean connected on a 3-point goal with 4:30 remaining in the game to push the NIACC lead to 76-71. Roberson converted a back-door dunk on an assist from James Harris to increase NIACC's lead to 80-73 with 3:05 to play in the game.

"Defense and rebounding," NIACC sophomore Orrington Hamilton said about the difference down the stretch. "It was really crucial and we he had to tighten up.

"It got down to two, but we trusted ourselves and got the job done."

Note: NIACC's three-game sweep over Iowa Lakes this season is the third time in school history that has been done. The Trojans also won three games (2 regular season and the regional tournament) in the 1972-73 and 1977-78 seasons.

NIACC's 2018-19 season (25-4 overall)

DCTC 91, NIACC 80

NIACC 97, Bay College 77

Iowa Western 100, NIACC 76

NIACC 78, Marshalltown CC 73

NIACC 99, RCTC 67

NIACC 94, Southeastern CC 86

NIACC 109, Wartburg College JV 77

NIACC 101, DCTC 65

NIACC 105, Northeast CC 71

NIACC 108, Luther College JV 70

NIACC 104, Southwestern 81

NIACC 125, Mount Mercy JV 98

NIACC 86, Iowa Central 75

NIACC 106, DMACC 100

Kirkwood 83, NIACC 65

NIACC 108, St. Ambrose University Junior Varsity 72

NIACC 110, Little Priest Tribal College 85

NIACC 86, Ellsworth 74

NIACC 119, Iowa Lakes 110

NIACC 96, Southwestern 83

NIACC 95, Iowa Central 82

NIACC 95, Kirkwood 81

NIACC 121, Little Priest Tribal College 101

NIACC 109, Graceland University JV 53

NIACC 107, Iowa Lakes 94

NIACC 86, Ellsworth 64

DMACC 96, NIACC 89

NJCAA Region XI tournament

NIACC 114, Little Priest Tribal College 88

NIACC 90, Iowa Lakes 82

 

 

 

 

NIACC men move up to No. 14
December 18, 2018 NIACC men move up to No. 14
NIACC men play at DCTC
November 28, 2018 NIACC men play at DCTC
NIACC stops RCTC, 99-67
November 10, 2018 NIACC stops RCTC, 99-67