DANVILLE, ILL — It was the end of the road for the Muskegon Community College men’s basketball team Thursday afternoon when the Jayhawks dropped a narrow 90-84 decision to Niagara County Community College in the NJCAA national tournament opener before 500 fans at Mary Miller Center in Danville, Ill.
What did the Jayhawks in was a poor first half, when they shot only 38.7 percent from the field (12 of 31) and just 23.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (4 of 17).
Meanwhile, Niagara hit on 19 of 35 from the field (54.3 percent) and 6 of 16 from beyond the arc (37.5 percent).
As a result, the Jayhawks found themselves in a 17-point hole, 52-35 at halftime.
The Jayhawks regrouped during the intermission, and improved their shooting in the second half, canning 15 of 36 attempts for 40.3 percent, knocked down 7 of 18 from the 3-point line for 31.4 percent and converted 12 of 15 free throws for 80 percent.
It helped them rally for a 49-38 edge in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to extend their season.
Overall, the Jayhawks shot 40.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from 3-point range.
Jake Martinson (Big Rapids) paced the Jayhawks with 23 points, while DJ Lanier (Dowagiac) contributed 12 points and Isaac Anderson (Northrop) added 10. Jeff Sultzer (Indianapolis, Ind.) chipped in with eight.
Lanier hauled down 10 rebounds and Anderson pulled down eight. The Jayhawks were outrebounded, 40-35. Lanier also dished out six assists and had three steals. Martinson, Jarvin Graham Jr. (Chicago) and Lanier all fouled out.
The Jayhawks finished the season with a 19-10 record.