After going 1-1 through the first two days of the Gila Monster Shootout the Seward County Saints’ men’s basketball team was able to end their three-day trip in Arizona with back-to-back wins as they took down Southern Nevada Saturday afternoon in a 98-90 win over the Wolves.
After going back and forth to start their past two games in Arizona, the Saints were able to take firm control early on to start the game as Mathias M’Madi picked up where he left off the previous day as he sliced through two defenders to the basket for an easy layup to put Seward County in front 12-5. Dave Olaniyi used his quickness to add on to the Saints’ scoring as he created two easy drives down the lane for himself for back-to-back fastbreak scores to put SCCC ahead 23-15 and a few possessions later Jaden Martin showed the fans that he could fly as he slammed home a fastbreak dunk to maintain a nine-point lead 31-22 over the Wolves. Blessin Kimble wanted to join the fun as he broke out in front and threw down an impactful dunk for the Saints to grow the lead out to double figures 41-30 with under four minutes remaining. Momentum was in the hands of Seward County, but it quickly shifted in the final minutes of the first half as the Wolves went on an 8-4 run to close the gap 45-38 SCCC heading into halftime.
The short spurt of energy for Southern Nevada to end the first half of action carried over to begin the second as they went on a 10-2 run to take the lead 48-47 but the Saints stormed back to retake their advantage as Martin found his range from behind the arc and then was able to slash through for a score to put Seward County back in front 59-55. Unselfishness from Olaniyi helped create an open three from Carson Bennett who knocked it in for his fourth of the game and hold a firm lead 79-69 over the Wolves and it was back and forth through the final minutes as SCCC held strong to their advantage and finish off Southern Nevada 98-90 to wrap up the Gila Monster Shootout 2-1 on the three-day trip.
Martin led the way for the Saints against the Wolves, leading the team in scoring with a career high of 22 points, followed by Bennett who scored 21 points including five made three-pointers. Kimble recorded his second consecutive double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds while Olaniyi had his best game of the young season with 16 points on 7-11 shooting.
Seward County now improves to the .500 mark at 2-2 on the 2023-2024 season and will now turn their focus to conference action as they open KJCCC play with Cloud County next Saturday on November 18th with tip-off scheduled for 4:00 PM.