No. 17 SLCC Stays On Top Among Division II, JUCO In-State Schools

Jan 14, 2019, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2019, 5:57 pm

SLCC and Snow College basketball players play game...

(Steve Speckman, SLCC Athletics)

(Steve Speckman, SLCC Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The conference season is underway for the JUCO and Division II teams in the state of Utah.

Salt Lake Community College Bruins, Snow College Badgers and Utah State University Eastern Eagles are in the Scenic West Athletic Conference in junior college.

The Bruins won the Region Tournament last season with victories over Snow College and College of Southern Idaho. They beat Arizona Western College in the District Playoff but lost to South Plains by one point in the NJCAA Nationals. They finished the 2017-18 season with a 30-4 record.

The Eagles lost to College of Southern Idaho in the Region Tournament last season and finished with a 17-13 record.

Snow College beat Colorado Northwestern Community College but lost to SLCC in the Region Tournament last season and was 14-16 at the end of last season.

The Dixie State Trailblazers and Westminster Griffins are in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in Division II.

Dixie State was in the PacWest last season and won the regular season and tournament championship. They lost to AZUSA Pacific in the NCAA Division II West Regional, finishing with a 23-7 record.

The Griffins went 21-5 last season but couldn’t compete in any postseason tournaments because they were on probation after transitioning to the NCAA Division II. They can compete in the postseason this year.

Here is the inaugural KSL Sports Division II and JUCO Utah College Basketball Power Rankings from games played from January 7-13.

1. Salt Lake Community College Bruins (15-4, 2-1 SWAC)

Wins: at Colorado Northwestern Community College

Losses: vs. Snow College

Recap: After trailing 52-34 at halftime, the Bruins stormed back in the second half to outscore Colorado Northwestern CC 50-32 to force overtime and SLCC prevailed with a 95-88 win. Josh Colon led the way with 30 points, Matt Lindsey – Jazz General Manager Dennis’ son – scored 18 points off the bench. Tyler Bennett notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The No. 17 Bruins couldn’t recover from allowing 42 points in the first half from Snow College. They dropped 54 points in the second half but fell short, losing to the Badgers 92-90. Cameron Mack scored a game-high 27 points, Josh Colon added 25 points and Hunter Schofield chipped in 19 as the only Bruins’ to score in double figures. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak.

Next Up: vs. Utah State University Eastern on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


2. Snow College Badgers (16-4, 1-1 SWAC)

Wins: at Salt Lake Community College

Losses: vs. College of Southern Idaho

Recap: Snow College couldn’t overcome a 45-37 halftime deficit and fell to the College of Southern Idaho, 101-89. Truman Moore had 27 points to lead the Badgers, Logan Hokanson added 15 points and Stockton Shorts had 11 points.

The No. 25 Badgers were able to go to Taylorsville, Utah and knock off the 17th ranked Bruins when Roman Behrens hit a step-back jump shot with 1.8 left to win in a tightly contested game, 92-90. Brayden Johnson scored 22 points and pulled down 7 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Jake Walker added 17 points off the bench. The upset win for Snow College snapped a two-game losing streak.

Next Up: vs. Colorado Northwestern on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. They will travel to Price to face Utah State University Eastern on Saturday at 5 p.m.

3. Utah State University Eastern Eagles (14-6, 2-0 SWAC)

Wins: vs. College of Southern Idaho

Recap: The College of Southern Idaho had a 75-61 lead with 4:42 left and the Eagles held them scoreless the rest of the game and went on 15-0 run that included a pair of made free throws by Blaze Nield with three seconds left to win the game 76-75. Nield finished with a game-high 23 points, Ognjen Pantovic added 16 points and 8 rebounds. The Eagles have won their last three games.

Next Up: at Salt Lake Community College on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. They will host Snow College on Saturday at 5 p.m.

4. Westminster Griffins (6-7, 4-5 RMAC)

Wins: vs. Chadron State College and Metropolitan State University of Denver

Recap: In the Griffins’ 93-86 win over Chadron State, they had to get the win in overtime. Westminster held a 28-27 halftime lead but Chadron State outscored the Griffins in the second half 48-47 to force overtime. Five players scored in double figures led by Brandon Warr with 29 points, Jacob McCord had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Alec Monson, Jai Jai Ely and James Walljasper scored 11 points apiece.

Westminster swept the week with a 74-69 victory over MSU Denver. The Griffins trailed by six points early but never looked back when they took the lead. Ely led the team with 15 points, Joonas Tahvanainen added 14 points, former Ute Jake Connor chipped in 12 points and McCord and Warr each scored 10 points. The two wins snapped a three-game losing streak.

Next Up: at Regis University on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Colorado Christian University on Saturday at 7 p.m.

5. Dixie State Trailblazers (5-8, 3-6 RMAC)

Wins: vs. Metropolitan State University of Denver

Losses: vs. Chadron State

Recap: In the Trailblazers 69-38 win over MSU Denver, they set the NCAA Division II record for fewest points allowed in a game. Dixie State had a 19-18 halftime lead but outscored MSU Denver 50-20 in the second half. Matt Conway had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Trailblazers, Andre Wilson poured in 12 points and Jack Pagenkopf scored 10 points off the bench.

Dixie State lost to Chadron State by three points, 61-64.  They trailed 31-25 at halftime and was only able to outscore Chadron State 36-33 in the second half. Only two players reached double figure scoring for the Trailblazers with Andre Wilson scoring 16 points and Julien Ducree adding 12 points off the bench. They have lost six of their last seven games.

Next Up: at Colorado Christian on Friday at 7 p.m. They will face Regis on the road on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Power Rankings


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No. 17 SLCC Stays On Top Among Division II, JUCO In-State Schools