Marion, AL. - The MMI men's basketball team started out sluggish Monday afternoon as they looked to garner their ninth win of the season, facing the Jets from South Georgia Technical College. With both teams struggling to find their offensive groove, the Jets took an early lead until sophomore point guard Andrew Reddick found Ladarius Carter for two of his 19 points; giving Marion a slim 11-10 lead. The Tigers would give lead back to the visitors from Americus, Georgia and have to fight from behind until Monte Wilkerson hit a 3-pointer with under a minute left in the first half. Jacorey Turnipseed was fouled on the next possession and extended the lead to three, 26-23. SGTC connected on one of two free throws to give a halftime score of 26-24.
The first five minutes of the second half saw the lead go back and forth with neither team able to take control of the game. With SGTC cutting into Marion's lead, 37-36, Carter hit back-to-back three pointers to give the Tigers a 43-36 point lead. The Jets once again cut the lead to one before MMI was able to go on a small run with Quavon Blackwood finding Turnipseed for a three-pointer. Blackwood found Josue Passius on the next play for an easy layup. With the score 48-42, Joshua Rathell found the way to the basket for two points. Passius found Willie Dunbar III for a dunk and followed with two points of his own on their next possession. Marion extended the lead to 54-44 with just over nine minutes to play in regulation.
SGTC trimmed the lead to six points but two free throws from Dunbar and a putback from Rathell brought it back to double digits. A goaltending call gave the Jets two points with 1:24 left on the clock, but trailing by eight had to start fouling the Tigers. Mark Bradwell hit his first two free throws to give MMI a 67-57 lead. After missing the front end of a one-and-one, Blackwood hit two free throws to secure Marion's ninth win of the season. Final score was 69-57.
The Tigers will be off for Christmas break and return to the court in January as ACCC conference play starts.
Ladarius Carter led Marion with 19 points. He followed in double digits by Joshua Rathell (16) and Mark Bradwell (10). Josue Passius added eight points with Willie Dunbar III adding six points off the bench. Rounding out the scorers for Marion were: Jacorey Turnipseed (5), Monte Wilkerson (3), and Quavon Blackwood (5).