West Burlington, Iowa -- AJ Cox made two free throws with nine seconds to play to let Southeastern end a 12-game losing streak to Indian Hills and clinch at least a tie for the conference title as the Blackhawks edged the Warriors, 73-72, on Saturday night.
The foul shots by Cox came after IHCC's Tomas Woldetensae drained two 3-pointers in the final 82 seconds to give the Warriors hope of completing a second-half comeback that saw them trail by as many as 13 points.
Woldetensae's first three, with 1:22 on the clock, tied the score at 69-69. Then, after SCC's Diew Moses converted off an offensive rebound to put the Blackhakws ahead, the IHCC sophomore drilled another three, with 37 seconds remaining.
Southeastern worked the clock down inside 10 seconds and Cox was fouled on a drive from outside the free throw lane. The Warriors took their final timeout in between his two made free throws to draw up what they hoped would be a game-winning shot. That shot, a long 3-point try by Tyon Grant-Foster, was off the mark and the Blackhawks got their first win against their conference rival since January 2014.
SCC is done with league play and their 7-1 mark is a half-game better than Indian Hills'. If the Warriors defeat Iowa Western this Saturday in their conference finale they would gain a tie for the title and would earn the top seed in the postseason tournament by virtue of a better strengh-of-schedule than Southeastern.
The Warriors played from behind most of the night after grabbing an early 9-5 lead. SCC ran off 13 straight points to take control and led by as many as 12 in the opening half, which ended with the Blackhawks on top, 40-34.
Tyler Chisom had 15 of IHCC's first-half points and wound up with a season-best 27. Chisom, Grant-Foster and Woldetensae combined for 56 points with Grant-Foster also posting a season high with 15.
Southeastern held Indian Hills without a field goal for the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half in building their advantage to 49-36. But the Warriors held the hosts scoreless for a 5:30 stretch and climbed back into a 59-all tie on a Chisom tip-in. That bucket came with just over six minutes remaining and there were three more ties and four lead changes after that.
Chisom scored with 2:50 to play to give IHCC a 66-65 lead. SCC got a basket by Marquis Collins and two foul shots from Kelvon Fuller to go up by three. That's when Woldetensae buried his tying three on an inbounds play, setting the stage for a wild final minute.
The Warriors saw their 11-game winning streak end. It was their first loss since late December.
Cox led SCC with 21 points. DeAndre Barton scored 15, all but two of them in the first half.
Chisom led everyone with his 12 rebounds, resulting in a double-double for the sophomore guard.
Indian Hills ends the regular season with two tough tests in the coming week -- against defending NJCAA Division II national champion Triton (Ill.) on Thursday and Iowa Western two nights later. The Blackhawks have a couple of non-league games in the last week of the regular season and then it's on to the postseason ICCAC tourney for both teams.
SOUTHEASTERN 73, INDIAN HILLS 72
INDIAN HILLS (23-5, 6-1)
Devontae Lane 0 3-4 3, Lance Singh 1 0-0 3, Iziah James 1 0-0 2, Nick Wagner 0 0-0 0, Tyon Grant-Foster 5 2-3 15, Tomas Woldetensae 5 0-0 14, JD Muila 3 0-0 6, Tyler Chisom 10 6-10 27, Torrey Patton 0 2-4 2 Team 25 13-21 72
SOUTHEASTERN (23-4, 7-1)
AJ Cox 7 7-7 21, Tyler Maye 2 0-0 6, Jaquan Lightfoot 1 0-0 2, Trenton Massner 1 0-0 2, Marquis Collins 3 0-0 7, Steven Cager 0 0-0 0, Kelvon Fuller 3 5-7 11, DeAndre Barton 5 3-4 15, Jerry Myles Jr. 0 1-2 1, Diew Moses 4 0-0 8 Team 26 16-20 73
Halftime score: Southeastern 40, Indian Hills 34; Three-point field goals: IHCC 9 (Woldetensae 4, Grant-Foster 3, Singh 1, Chisom 1); SCC 5 (Maye 2, Barton 2, Collins 1)