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Northwest Holds Off Itawamba in Shootout, 90-89
February 8, 2013By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – Despite six scorers in double figures for visiting Itawamba and a slight edge on the glass, it was homestanding Northwest who used 21 points from Charles Eaton off the bench and clutch free throws to hold off the Indians, 90-89, Thursday night at Howard Coliseum.
Northwest maintained its one-game lead in the north standings at 7-2 and improved to 14-4 overall. Itawamba dropped to 7-11 overall and 2-7 in the north division.
The Rangers hit 37 of 48 free throws on the evening, a common trend throughout the season, and none bigger than D.J. Biggs' final two with 1 second remaining. Northwest ranks second in the country in free throws made/game (20.8) and third in attempts/game (31.4).
In a tightly contested game to the final horn sounded, the teams exchanged 12 leads and were tied on 10 different occasions on the night.
Northwest led 39-33 at the break behind 50 percent shooting.
Itawamba came out in the second half much more aggressive and the 3-point shot became their best friend for the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Indians strung together a 20-5 run to open the second half and took their largest lead of the game at 53-44 with 13:29 to play.
Domonique Harris' second 3-pointer of the season got Northwest going as they in turn rallied for a monster 34-12 run to take a 13-point lead with just under four minutes to play. The run was capped by four consecutive made free throws from Northwest after ICC's Ben Seales was whistled for a technical foul.
Itawamba, however, would not go away as they slowly chipped away at the lead with four 3-pointers and turned the Rangers over on four separate occasions. Northwest went the final 3:45 without a field goal.
Steven Brand's 3-ball made it an 86-84 game with 13 seconds remaining before a pair of free throws by Eaton and Biggs sealed the victory.
Quintin Lee's heave from halfcourt banked in to make the final 90-89 as the buzzer sounded.
Behind Eaton's 21 points (12-12 FT), DeMarcus McVay added 18 points and nine boards, Biggs added 14 points and Harris had 10. ICC was led by 13 points apiece from Tre' Wells and Lee.
Northwest will return home next Monday for a single game against Arkansas Baptist at 6 p.m.