CENTRAL – A valiant effort from Southern Wesleyan men’s basketball wasn’t enough to topple No. 7 Emmanuel on Saturday, as the Warriors were defeated 72-68 in Southern States Athletic Conference play.
A back and forth affair finally went to the No. 7 team in the country as neither team could grab a double-digit lead. The game saw 10 ties and 18 lead changes, nine for each side. The Warriors (10-12, 5-7 SSAC) last lead came with 5:45 left to play. Adrian Justice tied the game at 56-56 for Emmanuel and Jeremy Burgess followed on the next possession to give the Lions (22-2, 12-2 SSAC) the lead for good.
The Warriors kept fighting and had the lead down to three with the ball and 1:18 to play. The Warriors were able to score on just two of their final five possessions as the Lions made 7 of 12 free throws down the stretch to give the Warriors some life.
SWU saw five players reach double figures in scoring including two unfamiliar faces. Tomas Suska reached the mark for the second time in three games with a career-high 13 points. Jemiah Wimphrie also reached the mark for the second time this season with a career-high 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Those two totals led the Warriors in the game.
Kenny Holmes and Terrance Hutchins added 11 points each and Cameron Solomon scored 10. Michael Stanley led all players with 24 points for Emmanuel and also had six assists and eight rebounds.
The Lions shot 48 percent from the floor while the Warriors made 47.5 percent from the floor. The big difference came at the line, where the Warriors shot 70 percent and the Lions shot 57.6 percent, but the difference wasn’t in the percentage but in the attempts. SWU took just 10 shots from the line where the Lions had 33 attempts, making 19.
The Warriors managed to grab 35 total rebounds, four more than Emmanuel. Dwayne Bryant led all players with nine boards. Jemiah Wimphrie added seven rebounds.
SWU hosted Auburn-Montgomery on Monday in a game that has been rescheduled twice due to snow.