No. 19 Indian River State College never trailed on the way to eliminating No. 14 Dawson Community College from the NJCAA Men's Basketball National Tournament 85-75 Tuesday morning in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The game marked DCC's first trip to the tournament in 63 years of playing men's basketball. It was Indian River State's (Fla.) first national tournament win.
The Bucs trailed 35-30 at intermission. Despite a season-high 23 turnovers, Dawson cut the deficit to one in second half when Michael Jok hit a 3-pointer with 15:30 to play. But the Pioneers answered with a 7-0 run, eventually opening their first double-digit lead at 59-47 with 11:15 left. The Bucs would get no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Jujaun Tot scored a career-high 16 points for DCC on 5-of-10 shooting, including pair of 3-pointers. He and brother Jalen Tot (12 points) combined for 28 of the Bucs' points. Cordell Stinson also chipped in with 12.
Dawson's pressure defense forced 16 turnovers but Indian River State did an effective job of handling it through much of the game.
Linton Brown was IRSC's spark pug, exploding for 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Abdoulaye Thiam added 20 for the Pioneers, followed by 10 for AJ Cajuste.
DCC closes the season 23-3 while Indian River State (19-3) advanced to play College of Southern Idaho in the next round.