‘Fab Four’ leads No. 9 Bucks past No. 25 Southwest Tennessee

Motlow State sophomores Kevonte Corley, Dillon Smith, Rashawn Fredericks and Isaiah Hart combined for 68 points, 37 rebounds and eight steals to lead the No. 9-ranked Bucks to an 83-67 win over No. 25 Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena Saturday.

The Bucks (13-2, 7-0) continue to sit alone at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings following a pair of conference wins over the weekend. The night before they beat the Saluqis, Motlow steamrolled visiting TCCAA rival Dyersburg State 110-59.

Motlow will finish off its home stand by hosting rival Volunteer State on Saturday, with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. The following weekend the Bucks will travel to Chattanooga State and Cleveland State.

Saturday’s win against Southwest, coached by former Motlow head coach and athletic director Jerry Nichols, was typical of recent contests between the two powerhouses; physical, close and competitive.

Motlow trailed 22-15 halfway through the first half before Fredericks hit a three pointer and three free throws to close the gap to 22-21. Hart was fouled on a three-point attempt and also hit all three free throws as the half ended with the Bucks leading 40-35.

Motlow never trailed in the second half, and the closest Southwest could get was within two, 60-58, with six minutes left to play. Leo Castillo got an offensive rebound put-back and Hart hit a long three pointer to put Motlow back up by nine. The Saluqis closed the gap to five with 2:18 remaining before Corley drove to the bucket, made the layup, got fouled, and sank the free throw. The Bucks then pulled away in the final two minutes.

Fredericks had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Corley scored 19 with 13 boards and two blocks, Hart had 19 points with four assists, four steals and five rebounds, and Smith scored 10 with eight rebounds and three steals. Castillo added eight points and nine rebounds, while Anthony Yarbrough scored five with six boards.

The Bucks enjoyed one of their most productive games at the free throw line, sinking 21-24 opportunities while Southwest only hit 15-23. The Saluqis won the rebounding battle 55-40, but Motlow dished out 15 assists and collected 11 steals, while Southwest only had six assists and forced only two steals.

Friday night’s win over Dyersburg State was a completely different story as the Bucks dominated the action from start to finish, leading at halftime 52-16. Six players scored in double figures for Motlow and every available player put points into the scorebook.

Hart led the way with a double-double, scoring 24 points and dishing out a season-high 10 assists along with four steals. Hayden Edmondson had his best game as a Buck, scoring 16 points, including hitting 3-4 from three-point range, while also adding four steals. Smith had 16 points and four steals and dished out five assists.

Castillo added 12 points, while Zaire Swaby and Corley each had 11. Both Swaby and Corley logged double-doubles though, with Corley snatching 13 rebounds and Swaby 10. Fredericks scored nine points and had 11 rebounds, Justin Hill added six points with four boards, Kin Webster scored three with four rebounds, and Chad Emmons had two points and four boards.