The Southwest Trojans overcame a slow start and a double-digit first quarter deficit and ran away from Diamond in an 85-57 blowout on the Wildcats home court on Tuesday, Dec. 23. The Trojans shot a sizzling 62 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free throw line in their best offensive performance of the season.
Josh Hartin led Southwest with 25 points, and Levi Roberts added 22. Both junior guards were a perfect eight-for-eight from the charity stripe. Matt Whittington scored 19 points from the pivot, connecting on nine of his 11 field goal attempts.
Kyle Heman led Diamond with 19 points, and Clint Leedy scored 16 points.
After trailing 20-10 at the end of the first quarter, Southwest shook off the rust of an 11-day span without a game and ran to a halftime lead, outscoring Diamond 28-7 in the second quarter. The Trojans added 26 points in the third and 21 in the fourth to reach their total of 85.
Southwest's trademark pressure defense collected 10 steals and constantly disrupted the Diamond offense.
"We did a great job of denying passing lanes and rotating defensively," said Southwest Coach Jason Horn. "We knew coming into this game that Diamond had some big guards that could potentially be match-up problems, but Matt Whittington did a great job defensively on their point guard disrupting them offensively."
With the victory, the Trojans evened their season record at 3-3 heading into their own Holiday Tournament.
In the JV contest, Justin Barber scored a dozen points and Southwest outscored Diamond 12-3 in the fourth quarter to win 52-41.
Purdy defeats Crane
Meanwhile, Purdy defeated Crane 65-59 in a non-conference tilt. The Eagles rode Mason Roller's hot shooting hand to a 10-point first quarter lead and held on for a close win. Despite Roller scoring 28 points and Blake Williams tossing in 22, Crane matched Purdy in the second quarter as each team scored 19.
Purdy's lead shrank in the third quarter to a mere four-point margin, but the Eagles regained their composure and chalked up their sixth win of the season.