With two starters out and a change in the game location, the MMI men's basketball had to claw and fight their way last night for their 14th win of the season. Marion defeated West Georgia Technical College 74-66 to improve to 14-1.
The Tigers jumped out to an 11-0 lead but several runs by the Knights from West Georgia made the game a back and forth event. West Georgia took their first lead (18-20) at the 11:31 mark in the first half before freshman Carlos Bell put the home squad back up 29-27 on an offensive tip five minutes later. Missed shots and turnovers plagued MMI the next several possessions and gave the Knights a 35-41 lead at halftime.
Marion came out aggressive on the defensive end to start the second half and started chipping away at the lead. West Georgia maintained a slim lead until Bell's steal led to an Antony Edwards layup, tying the game at 48 apiece. Sophomore point guard Treyvon Francis found John Clayton under the basket for an easy two points. That basket gave the Tigers their first lead of the second half with sixteen minutes to play. Both teams traded baskets until Bell added two more points, giving Marion a 56-54 lead at the 14:33 mark; a lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
Carlos Bell led MMI with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Antony Edwards finished with 14 points. Treyvon Francis added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Neiman Dunams dished out six assists with nine points. Charles Tripp also scored nine points to go along with his seven rebounds. Tyquarious Arnold (3) and John Clayton (5) rounded out the Tiger's scoring column.
MMI (14-1, 2-0) will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama Monday, January 23 for an ACCC North match-up against the 23rd ranked Shelton State Community College Buccaneers. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.