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Tigers take big bites out of Clinton, 88-48

February 2, 2012
Marshalltown Community College

By TRAVIS HINES - T-R Sports Writer (thines@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

The Marshalltown Community College men's basketball team has a size advantage almost every time it steps on the floor.

The Tigers may have utilized it better than ever Wednesday night.

MCC pounded the ball inside and pulverized Clinton Community College, 88-48, inside the Student Activity Center.

Starting posts Marcus Bell and Nilson Santana combined for 32 points while Keith Coleman added 13. Sherman Blanford, a power forward in a small forward's body, contributed 12 for MCC (8-16).

While the Tigers were dominant in the paint on the offensive end, they were equally as effective defensively as CCC (5-14) was stuck on four points until the midway point of the first half with MCC leading 21-4.

"I thought in the first half we came out, played pretty hard. We didn't really shoot the ball that well," said MCC head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson, "but once we figured out not to settle early on in the possessions and just give it a chance, we rattled off some points and got something going to the basket.

"That was really the key."

Already up 35-12 with 4 minutes before intermission, MCC got a big lift from Santana.

The sophomore managed a three-point play, a steal and a dunk plus two other buckets in just a 3 minute span to help the Tigers to a 48-18 halftime cushion.

"I thought Nilson really got that spark going to extend that lead at halftime," noted Brynjarsson.

Santana finished with a game-high 18 points while Bell, an Idaho recruit, notched 15.

Bell is averaging 15.7 points per game over the past three contests. The Tigers are undefeated during that span.

Guards Rashaad Brown-Peterson and DJ Anderson scored six and five points, respectively, as MCC remained committed to working the ball inside to Santana, Bell, Coleman and Blanford.

"There's no secret of what we were going to try to do," Brynjarsson said. "We were going to try to (go inside) every game.

"I thought we did a fairly good job of that."

Like most teams MCC has faced, the Cougars looked to a zone defense to combat the Tigers' size.

It's a tactic Marshalltown is quickly learning how to dismantle.

"Their zone gave us little problems here and there, but overall, I thought we executed pretty well," said Brynjarsson. "What was good to see is guys knew what the next pass was going to be and what it was going to be for.

"IQ going up, figuring some things out. Pretty pleased about that."

Ryan Frazer scored nine points to pace Clinton, which has lost seven of its past eight.

Marshalltown is now tasked with avoiding an 0-2 start in ICCAC D-I play with the league's leading scorer, Xavier Munford, and Iowa Western visiting Saturday at 7 p.m.

It will be the final regular-season conference home tilt for MCC. The Tigers still have trips to Ottumwa to face NJCAA D-I No. 4 Indian Hills and to the Reivers in Council Bluffs on the schedule.

Tags Marshalltown Community College • Publisher
NJCAA Region 11 • Tagged
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