COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Odessa College hangs on against Southeastern CC

HUTCHINSON, KAN. The Odessa College men’s basketball team never trailed but that doesn’t mean it was easy for the Wranglers in their opening game at the NJCAA Men’s Division I National Championship Tournament.

The Wranglers didn’t have any players score in double figures, but 11 of the 13 players Coach Kris Baumann put on the court contributed to an 62-56 victory against No. 14 seed Southeastern Community College on Wednesday at Hutchinson Arena.

The victory advanced third-seeded Odessa College (30-3) into an Elite Eight matchup against No. 6 Indian Hills at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Dian Wright-Forde, Darrell Armstrong Jr. and Kiree Huie each had eight points to lead the Wranglers.

Anthony Marshall finished with a team-high five assists, with Brandon Maclin and Marcus Banks each pulling down five rebounds.

Odessa College used pressure defense and a potent offense in the first half to open up a 37-26 lead at the break.

The Wranglers connected on 53.8 percent of their shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Odessa College led by 10 (52-42) with 10:21 remaining to play when its offense went into hibernation.

The Blackhawks pulled to within four points several times during that span.

But no closer as the Wranglers were able to do just enough to hold them off.

Odessa College’s final six points came from the free throw line,.

Jaylen Searles and Davion Bailey each finished with 14 points to lead Southeastern, which hit just 9 of 19 free throws.

Deng Deang added 12 points in the loss.