The Motlow Bucks will open TCCAA/Region VII Tournament play on Saturday when they face the winner of the Columbia State/Dyersburg State game at 6 p.m. Eastern at Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga.
The Bucks (19-7, 13-5) ended their regular season with a split earlier this week in east Tennessee. Motlow beat Roane State 89-74 Monday night in Harriman, then traveled to Morristown and fell to Walters State 78-60.
Motlow is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, with Southwest Tennessee slotted at No. 1. The Columbia/Dyersburg game is a play-in game between the No. 7 and No. 10 teams, respectively. If the Bucks win Saturday they would advance to the semifinals on Monday at 4 p.m., where they would face the winner of the Chattanooga State/Cleveland State contest.
The Bucks used a strong second half to pull away from Roane State Monday in Harriman after leading only 41-38 at the intermission. The Raiders had upset the Bucks earlier this month at Copperweld Arena, but Motlow got its revenge by winning the final 20 minutes 48-36.
The Bucks shot 52.5 percent from the field, including 7-21 three pointers, and nailed 20-23 free-throw attempts. Motlow won the rebounding battle by a staggering 42-22 and had 23 assists on 31 made shots while forcing 22 turnovers.
Isaiah Hart led all scorers with 29 points on 10-16 shooting, including 5-8 three pointers. Hart also had six assists, four steals and three rebounds. Rashawn Fredericks had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and David Fraser scored 12 points and hauled in eight rebounds.
Tuesday in Morristown the Bucks let a 12-point lead with 12 minutes remaining slip away, keeping them from winning 20 games in the regular season for the fourth straight year. After leading 36-31 at the half and increasing their lead to 12, the Bucks couldn’t hang as the Senators paraded to the free-throw line. Motlow shot only 35 percent from the field and went to the free-throw line only nine times, making seven.
Hart again led all scorers with 26 points, but was the only player in double figures for the Bucks. Kevonte Corley, Fredericks and Fraser each had 10 rebounds, but they were a combined 7-26 from the field.
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