Southwest Tennessee Community College

March 13, 2005

For More Information, Contact: Keith Gentry (901) 333-4114 / Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

SOUTHWEST MEN LOSE TO WALTERS STATE IN REGION CHAMPIONSHIP

The Southwest men's basketball team saw its outstanding season come to an end on Sunday afternoon, losing 80-73 to Walters State in the championship game of the Region VII Tournament in Harriman, Tennessee.

Southwest, ranked 13th in the nation by the NJCAA and winners of its last 15 games, led by two points at the half, 35-33, but were outscored 47-38 in the second half. Three Saluqis scored in double figures - Dee Burchett with 22, Lester Hudson with 15, and Rasuul Buluu with 12. All three were named to the all-tournament team. Hudson also led the team with eight rebounds.

The Saluqis won their semifinal game on Saturday over Chattanooga State 86-82, and their quarterfinal game on Friday against Columbia State 111-93. Against Columbia State, Lester Hudson led the team with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Also in double figures against Columbia State was A.J. Pigram.

Against Chattanooga State, Jeremy Marrs scored a career-high 17 points and Lester Hudson added 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead Southwest. The Saluqis held a 84-79 lead with 30 seconds remaining, but Chattanooga State cut the lead to two when Sir Lee Mason was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws with 18 seconds left in the game. Southwest's Anthony Pigram was fouled with 17 seconds remaining and made one of two foul shots, making the score 85-82. After a missed three-point attempt by Chattanooga State, Hudson made one of two free throws with 1.7 seconds on the clock to seal the victory.

The Southwest defense played outstanding, allowing Chattanooga State to shoot only 34 percent from the field, including just 28 percent in the first half. The Saluqis also out rebounded Chattanooga State by a 54-48 margin. Other Southwest players who scored in double figures were Dee Burchett with 13, Rasuul Buluu with 11, and Nick Covington with 11. The Saluqis assisted on 26 of 34 baskets, led by Burchett and Aaron Nichols with six assists each.

The Southwest men finished the season with an outstanding 22-6 overall record.