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Motlow Bucks rout Southwest TN; clinch conference title and national tournament berth
 February 14, 2013

LYNCHBURG, TN (February 14, 2013) – The Motlow Bucks made history Wednesday night, clinching the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season championship and a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship tournament with a 94-75 win over Southwest Tennessee at Copperweld Arena.

It is the first national tournament trip in the 43-year history of Motlow men’s basketball. The Bucks (19-3, 14-1) are ranked 22nd in the nation in this week’s NJCAA poll and will host Dyersburg State on Saturday, with the women’s tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. Sophomore players will be recognized between the men’s and women’s contests.

The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament will be held at Motlow College beginning March 5. The Bucks will have an opportunity to add a tournament title to their impressive resume’. The tournament champion will advance to the national tournament as well. If Motlow wins the tournament, then the runner up team will advance to the national tournament.

Motlow dominated the visiting Saluqis (8-7, 11-8) from start to finish in front of a large, loud crowd that created a true home court advantage. The visitors’ only lead was 3-2 in the first 90 seconds, but after that it was all Motlow as the Bucks built a 56-32 halftime lead and cruised to victory.

The night ended with the Motlow student section rushing the court and joining the Bucks in a wild post-game celebration. Head coach Jerry Nichols took the ceremonial Gatorade bath at mid-court, joining a select group of people that has won state championships as both a player and a coach.

Sophomore Sean Gardner was the first-half spark for the Bucks, exploding for 15 points in the first 20 minutes including three three-pointers. Gardner finished with 22 points and added seven rebounds. Motlow hit nine three-point buckets and connected on 12-16 free throw attempts.

Freshman Perrin Buford also had a strong first half, scoring 14 of his 17 points, and hauling down five rebounds. Classmate D.J. Jones provided the second-half spark the Bucks needed when Southwest threatened to make a game of it. Jones had 10 second-half points and put an exclamation point on the win with a blocked shot on the defensive end, followed by a reverse layup basket on offense that sent the crowd into a wild frenzy.

Chris Hawkins added 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Motlow, while Raul Tutton, Jr. had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. JC Bonny led the Bucks with five assists and added five points, all from the free throw line. Marshun Newell led the Saluqis with 26 points while Chris Sledge added 18 and Justin Street 16.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at <www.motlowsports.com> for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics at <Facebook/MotlowSports> and <Twitter@MotlowSports>.

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