Southwestern Illinois College freshman guard Teddy Fifer scored seven of his career high 31 points in the second overtime as the Blue Storm defeated Southeastern Illinois College 116-109 on Monday in a play-in game for the NJCAA Region 24 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Blue Storm (14-17), which saw a 17-point second half lead disappear in the second half, trailed early in the second overtime but got a 3-point basket by seldom-used freshman Daeyln Franklin, his second of the night, and clutch play by Fifer and freshman Jaalam Hill late in the second overtime period to avoid the upset.
Southeastern Illinois, which ended its season at 5-26 was the 10th seed, while SWIC, seeded seventh, moves into the main bracket where it will take on John A. Logan College at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rend Lake College in Ina.
SWIC, which was whistled for 35 fouls, had five players foul out. Fifer, a former Metro-East Lutheran standout, finished with 31 points to lead way, while sophomore Darrin Jenkins added 28 and Hill added 27.
“We hit the shots. Daelyn (Franklin) hadn’t hit a 3-point shot all year and he hit two huge 3’s tonight. Teddy (Fifer) had a bigg ame for us and we had some other kids step up,” Blue Storm coach Jay Harrington said. “Southeastern drove on us all night long and that’s been our weakness all year. But we’re moving to play on Wednesday. It was a big win for us tonight.”
Trailing 107-105 with just more than two minutes left in the second overtime, Southeastern got even for the last time on a basket by Jacarious Scott. On the Blue Storm’s next possession, Fifer scored on a 3-point play with 1 minute 24 seconds remaining to give SWIC the lead for good at 110-107.
Southeastern Illinois cut the lead to 110-109, but could get no closer as both Hill and Fifer made free throws in the final minute to ice the win for SWIC.
SWIC women draw top seed Wabash Valley
Seeded eighth in the Region 24 playoffs, the Blue Storm (10-17) travel to Mount Carmel at 5 p.m. Tuesday to take on top-seed Wabash Valley Junior College in a women’s Region 24 first round game.
Wabash Valley is 28-1 on the season. The winner advances to the Region 24 semifinals on Friday at 11 a.m. at Rend Lake College in Ina where it will take on either fourth seed John A. Logan College or fifth-seed Shawnee College.