Although freshman John Clayton got MMI on the scoreboard first with an easy layup, nothing came easy for the MMI Tigers as they downed Southern Union State Community College 80-69 Monday evening. Quamauri Hardy added two free throws on their next possession and the lead stayed in the hands of the Tigers despite multiple runs from the Bisons. The visitors hit a deep two-pointer before the first half buzzer sounded, cutting the lead to 38-32.
Clayton once again scored the team's first points of the second half, getting the lead back to eight points. The Bisons hit a three on their first possession and cut it back to five. Marion continued to keep Southern Union playing from behind and expanded the lead back to double digits with thirteen minutes to play in the contest. The visitors continued their fight and cut it back to six with five and a half to play. Sophomore Charles Tripp hit a three-pointer with 2:10 on the clock that caused the Bisons to start fouling. Treyvon Francis, Quamauri Hardy, and Carlos Bell hit key free throws late to secure the Tigers' 17th win of the season.
Hardy led MMI with 20 points. Charles Tripp and John Clayton each scored 15 points. Tripp also grabbed eight rebounds. Carlos Bell finished with 13 points. Rounding out the scoring for the Tigers was Treyvon Francis (5), Tyquarious Arnold (4), DeShawn Roumou (4), and Mikel Davis (4).
Marion, 5-2 in the ACCC North, will travel to Gadsden State Community College Thursday evening for a 7:00 p.m. tip.