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Bobcats reach `Elite Eight' with OT victory
 March 19, 2014

By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Jones County Junior College Bobcats are headed to the NJCAA “Elite Eight.”

Johnny Zuppardo scored 32 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Leroy “Truck” Fludd had 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated Hill College (Texas) 91-82 in overtime here Wednesday night at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

The Bobcats, 25-5, will now face Chipola College (Fla.) at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Chipola downed State Fair (Mo.) 91-83. Chipola is 26-5 overall and entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed. JCJC is seeded No. 11, while Hill College was the No. 6 seed coming into the tournament.

The game will air on www.njcaatv.com.

Bobcats 91, Rebels 82 (OT)

Just like Tuesday’s 81-79 win over Highland College (Ill.), the Bobcats were involved in another thriller.

JCJC trailed 66-62 with less than three minutes to play in regulation.

Zuppardo then hit a 3-pointer from right wing to make it 66-65 with 2:37 left. Zuppardo then came up with a steal and got the ball to Thaddeus “Pop” Hall, who scored to put JCJC ahead 67-66 with 2:19 left.

Hill then missed a shot, but Mike Chandler tipped it in to put the Rebels ahead 68-67 with 2:07 to play.  But Zuppardo answered with 1:56 to play to give the Bobcats a 69-68 lead.

Hill’s Tyrell Bellott-Green then made a 3-pointer to put the Rebels ahead 71-69 with 1:24 to play. But Zuppardo hit an 18-footer to tie the game at 71-71 with 1:00 remaining.

After the Rebels missed a shot, the Bobcats got the rebound and called timeout with 22.8 seconds to play.

Bryce Jones would drive to the goal and miss a shot, but he got his own rebound and scored on a putback to make it 73-71 with 7.2 seconds remaining.

But Hill got the ball downcourt quickly and Tramique Sutherland made a running, off-balance 15-footer with 2.0 seconds to play to tie the game and force overtime.

The game was tied at 78-78 in the extra session when JCJC took over.

Fludd scored at the 1:30 mark and then hit a pair of free throws at 1:09 to make it 82-78. Jones then hit two free throws with 53.8 seconds left, added another with 42.8 seconds showing and two more with 29.7 seconds left to give the Bobcats an 87-78 lead.

Sutherland scored with 23.0 seconds left to make it 87-80, but that was as close as the Rebels would get.

JCJC jumped out to quick 7-2 lead, but Hill would come back and take its longest lead of the game at 23-15 with 9:15 left in the first half when Taylor Luster scored.

The Rebels still led 27-22 with less than four minutes to go, but the Bobcats would outscore them 12-4 the rest of the half and take a 34-31 lead at intermission.

The game would be tied at 36-36, 42-42 and 44-44 before the Rebels would take a 60-54 lead with 7:00 remaining when Kristian Keys hit two free throws.

Hall added 14 points for the Bobcats, while Jones had 12, including a 10-of-12 effort from the free throw line. Leo Garrett would finish with seven points and seven rebounds, while Jones finished with five assists.

Sutherland had 20 points for Hill, while Bellot-Green and Jared Johnson had 15 points each. Keys finished with 12 points. Coris Williams Jr. had 12 rebounds and Sutherland finished with 10.

JCJC was 32-of-71 from the field, including 3-of-18 from 3-point range, for 45.1 percent. The Rebels were 28-of-75 from the floor, including 9-of-34 from 3-point range, for 37.3 percent.

The Bobcats were 24-of-32 from the free throw line, while Hill was 17-of-25.

JCJC turned the ball over 15 times, compared to 21 for Hill. The Rebels outrebounded the Bobcats, 49-44.

A box score of the game is available at http://stats.njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2013-14/div1/boxscores/20140319_jx8s.xml.

For more on the tournament, go to www.njcaa.org.

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