Men's Basketball Championship: Mississippi College Claims Fifth ASC
Men's Hoops Title
February 25, 2007
All stories courtesy Mississippi College Sports Information
CLINTON, Miss. --- Mississippi College claimed its fifth American Southwest Conference Men's Basketball Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship with a 77-64 win over Hardin-Simmons University in Sunday afternoon's tournament title game.
The No. 5-ranked Choctaws head into the national tournament with a 25-2 record. Announcement of the tournament field will be made late Sunday night with brackets released Monday morning. Both announcements will be available online at www.ncaasports.com. Mississippi College is assured of a berth in the NCAA Division III Championship for the ninth time in 10 years.
In its first-ever ASC championship game appearance, Hardin-Simmons (16-12) proved to be a stubborn opponent for MC. The Cowboys whittled away at the Choctaws' game-opening eight-point lead closing within two points, 23-21, with 2:07 left in the first half before Zach Pickelman drilled a three-pointer 30 seconds later to give HSU its first lead 24-23. The teams exchanged points and the lead before a Tyler Winford lay-up gave Mississippi College a 27-26 halftime lead.
The Choctaws came out of the break on fire, outscoring HSU 18-5 over the first 6:40 for a 14-point lead, 45-31. Hardin-Simmons twice cut the MC lead to five points, the last at 2:05 when Charlie Pannell hit a lay-up to cut the Choctaw lead to 64-59. MC responded with a 7-0 run over the next 61 seconds, helped along by four Jonathan Collins free throws.
Hardin-Simmons closed the gap to eight points, 72-64, on two Matt Brackett free throws with 39 seconds left. Mississippi College closed the Cowboys' comeback try with two more Collins free throws and a Torry Crumedy layup.
Timothy Broomfield led a trio of double-digit Choctaws scorers with 21 points, 12 of those in the second half. Ryan Hudson added 15 points and D.J. Jones 13 points with the threesome grabbing six rebounds apiece. Jones dished-off nine assists while Broomfield tied the ASC championship game record with five steals. MC shot an even 50 percent (25-for-50) from the floor helped along by 62 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes.
Pickelman, a perfect 7-for-7 at the line, led Hardin-Simmons with 18 points. Pannell and Michael Dinkins came off the bench for 13 and 10 points, respectively. Mardochee Jean grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
2007 ASC Men's Basketball Championship All-Tournament Team
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