JUCO basketball: Warriors hold off Pirates behind Hall's career night

Feb. 16—OTTUMWA — Indian Hills picked up its fourth consecutive victory with an 81-77 win over No. 12 (DII) North Central Missouri at the Hellyer Center on Thursday night. The 16th-ranked (DI) Warriors improved to 13-1 at home on the year and 20-5 overall.

One game removed from a career-high effort, sophomore Davontae Hall upped his performance with a personal-best 22 points in the win for the Warriors. The sophomore guard led four players in double-figures after going 4-7 from three-point range and 6-6 at the charity stripe to lift the Warriors in its first game at home in nearly two weeks.

Freshman Kheni Briggs added 13 points to spark the Warriors off the bench while T.J. Morris collected his 10th double-digit scoring effort of the year with 10 points.

Sophomore Trevion LaBeaux recorded his team-leading 11th double-double of the year after scoring 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Warriors. LaBeaux has now reached double-digit rebounds in 13 contests this year, including five games with at least 15 boards.

The Warriors found its rhythm early to build a sizable lead in the first half thanks to six three-point shots in the opening frame. Indian Hills finished the night with 10 three-point shots, the eighth time this year the Warriors have connected on double-digit three's.

Along with its success from beyond the line, Indian Hills connected on 19-23 free throw attempts, the team's third-best percentage (82.6) on the year. Hall and LaBeaux combined to go a perfect 11-11 from the stripe, including nine makes in the second half alone.

In its first home game since Feb. 3, Indian Hills jumped out to a quick start on Thursday with a barrage of three-point shots in the opening minutes. Hall and Morris each hit a shot from deep before Briggs connected on consecutive attempts to push the Warriors' lead to 16-8 at the 16:13 mark, forcing a Pirate timeout. Another three from Hall at the midway point of the half extended the lead to double-digits at 30-19. An 11-1 run from the Warriors helped give the home team a 46-34 cushion at the break.

Hall opened the second half with another three to get the Warriors over the half century mark. The sophomore teamed up with Morris to convert back-to-back threes to extend the lead to 60-36 with 16:28 to play. Indian Hills eventually cooled off as North Central Missouri climbed back into the contest, pulling within a single possession in the final minute of play, but Hall came up clutch with six consecutive free throws in the final 17 seconds to close out the night.

Hall is now averaging 18.3 points per game during the team's four-game win streak while shooting 85.7 percent from the free throw line and 50 percent from the floor.

Indian Hills returns to action Saturday afternoon with a road trip at Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois before returning home for four consecutive games at the Hellyer Center to close out the regular season.