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Elsworth downs NIACC men, 80-64

MASON CITY, Iowa – The NIACC’s men’s basketball team ended its season with its fourth straight loss in a 80-64 win by Ellsworth Community College on Thursday night.

Sophomore Chris Throne (Lake Mills, IA) led NIACC (14-16 overall, 5-9 in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference) in scoring during his final home game with 21 points and eight rebounds.  Nate Brandt (Fr., Burlington, WI) scored 16 points.  No other Trojan scored more than seven.

Despite only having 12 turnovers and allowing two steals, the Trojans could not keep up with Panther’s offensive efficiency.  Ellsworth (15-14 overall, 10-3 in the ICCAC) shot 33-of-64 (51.6 percent) in the game, while NIACC managed to shoot just under 35 percent (34.9 percent, 22-for-63).

Ellsworth sophomore Alfreeman Flowers scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace Ellsworth.  Mario Donaldson added 16 points, Abrie Anderson had 12 points and Jamell Johnson scored 10 to round out Ellsworth’s double figure scorers.

Flowers was a big factor in Ellsworth’s offensive performance, as helped the Panthers control the lane to the tune of a 34-12 points in the paint advantage.  Flowers accounted for 16 of those points.

It looked like NIACC was going to control the tempo of the game early when they scored on four of their first five possessions to jump out to a 9-0 lead.  After a two pointer by Throne to make it 16-6 with 15 minutes left in the first, Ellsworth began to wrestle control away.  The Panthers had runs of 12-3 and 9-2 with Abrie Anderson leading the charge with four and five points in those runs respectively.

Ellsworth broke the game open in the second half with a 24-8 run over 10 minutes to turn a slight 52-51 lead into a 76-59 gap.  The Panthers scored on seven of nine possessions at one point during that run, while NIACC went 4-for-14 during that entire run.

The Panthers have been the hottest team in the ICCAC over the last month, and have won their last seven conference games.  Those wins include victories over No. 2 Kirkwood and No. 11 DMACC.  NIACC was the last ICCAC team to beat Ellsworth with a 108-103 overtime win in Iowa Falls on January 28.

This was the last home game for four NIACC sophomores: Throne, Kendall Brown (Des Moines, IA) Dustin Dolash (Chelsea, IA), and Caleb Bassey (Inglewood, CA).

NIACC’s regular season is over, but they will play in the Region XI Tournament starting next week.  They will either play at Iowa Central or at DMACC depending on how the conference games go this weekend.

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