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Skyhawks build lead, hold off Madison

Hot start for Sauk

DIXON – A threat of wind sprints provided some inspiration for the Sauk Valley Community College men’s basketball team in a game against Madison on Tuesday night.

The Skyhawks bottled up the high-scoring Wolfpack for most of the night, and held on for a 79-70 victory. Madison had been averaging more than 100 points per game.

“We told the guys before the game every point over 70 we were going to run for,” SVCC coach A.J. Sharp said. “They held them right to 70. We had to take away their shooters and control their penetration, and we did a good job of that tonight.”

Sauk Valley (3-2) raced out to a big early lead, and ended up having to hang on. The Skyhawks’ biggest lead was 19 points (32-13) after sophomore center Andrew Morrissey dropped in a bucket after his own missed 1-and-1 free throw with 2:51 left before halftime.

Sauk Valley led 39-25 at the break as Madison shot a frigid 8-for-33 from the floor, including 2-for-14 from 3-point range, in the first 20 minutes.

The Wolfpack chipped away in the second half, getting to within five points on three different occasions, the last time at 64-59 with a little more than 3 minutes to play. Madison also had possession of the ball at that point, but turned it over, and the Skyhawks responded with back-to-back 3s by Markel Hudson and Jyaire Robinson to essentially put the game on ice.

Robinson poured in 28 points to lead all scorers, and was 6-for-13 from long distance in the process.

“I’ve been kind of shooting it rough these last couple of games, so I’ve been trying to find my shot,” Robinson said. “It just kept falling tonight.”

Hudson scored 13 of his 15 points after intermission to help Sauk Valley hang on, while Morrissey was a force inside all night with 13 points and 21 rebounds. He had a considerable height and bulk advantage over the smaller Wolfpack.

Getting off to a quick start was a key, according to Alexander.

“Both this year and last year, we had a lot of trouble coming out and starting games strong,” Alexander said. “It took us a few minutes to get going a lot of times. Before the game, we talked a lot about coming out like we were starting already 5 minutes into the half. We wanted to come out with a lot of intensity. We were undefeated at home, and wanted to keep it that way.”

Allen Robinson paced a balanced attack for Madison with 21 points. Davion Washingotn (13), Earl Lewis (12) and Malcolm Reed (10) also reached double figures.

Men’s basketball

Sauk Valley 79, Madison 70

Star of the game: Jyaire Robinson, SVCC, 28 points, 4 rebounds

Key performers: Andrew Morrissey, SVCC, 13 points, 21 rebounds; Allen Robinson, Madison, 21 points

Up next: SVCC at Malcolm X, 7 p.m. Thursday

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