By Chuck Livingston
The Evening Times Sports Editor
MSCC Sports Information
WEST MEMPHIS, Arkansas --- Chris Parker's anguished cries cascaded all around The Dog House during his team's game against nationally-ranked Southwest Tennessee last night.
The MSCC head coach implored his team to be patient and get back on defense after nearly every basket.
While he wasn't totally thrilled with a 88-63 loss against the No. 6-ranked Saluqis (12-1 overall), he wasn't upset either.
"Defensively, we did everything that we were kind of hoping to do. They've obviously a very talented team, and they have a lot of offensive weapons. But we wanted to take away what killed us last time and make them beat us from the outside because we didn't want to get beat the same way twice," said the MSCC head coach. "We did what we needed to do, and they did what they are capable of doing."
Southwest Tennessee connected on 10-of-27 attempts from distance in the game, and was actually 9-of-15 after making their first two attempts in the second half. That effort from three-point range was part of a 46 percent shooting mark for the visitors.
Southwest Tennessee was led by Johanthan Burroughs-Cook's 22 points in 28 minutes of play while MSCC got 15 points from Kaylon Tappin and 10 points from Joe Dye. Justin Harris checked in with nine points as well.
Forrest City product Trent Steen led the Greyhounds in rebounds with 8.
The first half looked much more competitive than the score would indicate as the Saluqis hit the lockers with a 44-19 lead after canning 52 percent of their shots in the opening frame and an outstanding 54 percent from three-point range with a Greyhound hand in the face on nearly every attempt.
"They have several talented shooters who knocked down shots, and our shots didn't fall in the first half, obviously," said Parker of his team's 25 percent mark from the field in the game's opening 20 minutes. "That was the big difference in the game."
The second half was a different story, however. MSCC played Southwest Tennessee to a dead heat as each school scored 44 points in the final 20 minutes, and the Greyhounds had cut into the lead until the Saluqis finished the game on a 5-0 run during garbage time.
"We got a lot better as a team tonight because we were able, for the most part, to execute a gameplan for 40 minutes," said Parker. "That was exciting to me, despite the outcome."
Southwest Tennessee won the battle of the boards, 41-29 while holding MSCC to just 37 percent from the field on the night. "Considering they started 6'8", 6'9" and 6'11", I thought we did a admirable job keeping them from dominating us inside," said Parker, whose tallest player is 6'7". "We have guys that will fight."
MSCC hits the road on Saturday to play Champion Baptist College in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to open up a five-game road swing before returning home to face West Kentucky CTC on Saturday, January 31 at 3 p.m.