HANCEVILLE – Wallace State Community College's men's eighth-ranked basketball team is off to a successful start in its first ever trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association's (NJCAA) Basketball Championship.
Sergio Crowe connected on five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, L.A. Farmer pitched in with 20 and Wallace State prevailed 84-81 vs. Butler County (Kan.) Community College at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan. on Tuesday night.
The win puts the Lions in the NJCAA quarterfinals against the College of Eastern Utah at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Wallace State (30-4) shot 55 percent (10-for-18) from 3-point territory as the Lions held off a late Butler County surge.
After facing a 36-33 halftime deficit, Wallace State put together a 12-0 spurt in the second half for a cushion which the Lions wouldn't surrender. Crowe capped the surge with a 3-pointer to make it 58-45 with 10:21 remaining in the game.
Butler County trimmed its deficit to 75-72 with 2:24 remaining, but a layup by Austin High's Ricky Sears—his only basket of the game—handed the Lions a five-point lead at 77-72 with 1:55 remaining.
Wallace State hit 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Darrick Thomas scored all 12 of his points in the second half for Wallace State, Ricardo Hall poured in 11 and Donterious Hughes added seven off the bench.
Butler County (29-6) plays North Platte (Neb.) Community College in a consolation game at noon on Thursday.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.