SouthArk advances to semifinals with win over Shorter College

SEARCY - South Arkansas College’s men’s basketball team accomplished a pair of firsts on Wednesday night.

The Stars picked up their first postseason win while also clinching their first 20-win season, as SouthArk knocked off Shorter College 80-50 in the opening round of the NJCAA Region II Division II Tournament at Rhodes Fieldhouse on the campus of Harding University.

The Stars (20-6), who are the No. 2 seed, advance to take on No. 6 seed North Arkansas College (16-15), which upset No. 3 seed SAU Tech 79-63.

The Stars and Pioneers collide at 8 p.m. on Friday night in the semifinals.

National Park, the No.1 seed and No.1 team in the country, faces ASU Mid-South, the No. 5 seed, in the first semifinal at 6 p.m.

Troy’reon Ramos knocked down 6 3-pointers en route to scoring 23 points to lead SouthArk. He also had 4 assists and 2 steals.

Braedon Edison had 8 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the win for SouthArk.

SouthArk won both meetings during conference play against North Arkansas, winning 79-75 on the road on Jan. 23 and 92-76 on Feb. 15 in El Dorado.

In their road victory, Ramos had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Jamarian Cato had a double-double of his own with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Edison led SouthArk with 22 points and Raheem Briggs added 12 points.

The Stars won despite going 3-of-17 from 3-point range and getting outrebounded 54-31.

Mat Jones, James Parlow Jr. and Javon Calmese all had double-doubles for the Pioneers.

Calmese had 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Jones and Parlow each had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

In the second game, the Stars placed five players in double figures with Ramos leading the way with 22 points. He also had 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Cato notched his second double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Jones had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jordyn Turner added 16 points for the Pioneers.

There were 115 total rebounds in the game with the Pioneers winning the battle on the glass 59-56.

The Stars have shot the ball well against the Pioneers, shooting an even 50% in the two games.

SouthArk’s defense has limited North Arkansas to just 35% shooting while also forcing 38 turnovers. The Stars themselves have taken care of the ball, committing only 13 turnovers in their regular-season sweep of the Pioneers.

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