Motlow Bucks Host Jackson, Columbia State This Week in Final Home Games

Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks prepares to drive to the basket during a game earlier this season at Copperweld Arena. Fredericks scored 36 points and added 10 rebounds Saturday as the Motlow Bucks dropped a 93-85 decision to Southwest Tennessee in Memphis. The Bucks will host Jackson State Wednesday and Columbia State Saturday to close out the home portion of the 2017-18 season. [Photo by Jeff Reed Photography]

Despite 36 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Rashawn Fredericks, the Motlow Bucks fell out of first place in the TCCAA men’s basketball standings for the first time this season when they dropped a 93-85 decision to Southwest Tennessee Saturday afternoon in Memphis. Earlier in the week the Bucks blew out Dyersburg State 102-64 in Dyersburg.

The Bucks (17-5, 11-3) have now lost three of their past five games, relinquishing that top spot in the standings to Southwest Tennessee after Saturday’s result. The Saluqis (19-3, 12-2) now have the upper hand for the top seed in the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, which begins March 2 at Chattanooga State.

Motlow will close out the home portion of their schedule with a visit from Columbia State at 2 p.m. Saturday. Motlow will hold a recognition ceremony for its sophomores between games on Saturday.

The Bucks were forced to play catch-up the rest of the game Saturday after the Saluqis went on a 19-2 run midway through the first half. The game was tied 21-21 with 11:45 left in the half, and by the time the clock reached 6:25, the Saluqis led 40-23. Motlow closed the gap to five points in the final five minutes, but the home team held on to get the win.

Fredericks continued what has been a spectacular sophomore season, hitting 11-17 shots from the field and 12-15 free throws. His 36 points is tied for the fourteenth most points ever scored by a Motlow men’s basketball player in a game.

The Bucks as a team were splendid at the free-throw line, connecting on 28-31 attempts. However, Motlow was only 7-32 from three-point range and shot only 34 percent from the field. Southwest, meanwhile, hit 57 percent of its shots, including 9-23 three pointers. The Saluqis won the rebounding battle 43-31 and Motlow had only 12 assists to 22 for Southwest.

Isaiah Hart scored 22 points and added eight assists and six steals for the Bucks, while Kevonte Corley scored eight with 10 rebounds, Leo Castillo had nine points, and David Fraser scored seven.

The Bucks enjoyed a much easier time of it Wednesday night in beating Dyersburg State, which has yet to win a conference game. The Bucks shot 44 percent from the field and hit 13 three-pointers. Motlow had 28 assists on 36 made baskets and turned the ball over only 10 times.

Dillon Smith led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and added four assists and three steals. Hart, Fredericks and Fraser each had 16 points, with Fredericks adding eight rebounds and Hart contributing eight assists and six steals. Corley had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Kin Webster scored eight points with eight rebounds.

Following Saturday’s final home game against Columbia State, the Bucks will have a quick turnaround as they travel to Roane State Monday and Walters State Tuesday. The games were originally scheduled for Jan. 12 and 13, but were postponed due to inclement weather.

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