Freshman Ryan Schmitt of Van Meter scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots to lead the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) men's basketball team to a 76-55 win over Southwestern Community College (SWCC) February 26 at Creston.
The game closed out the regular season for the Bears, who finished with a 26-4 record and a 12-2 mark in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC), clinching no worse than a tie for the league championship. The Bears can win the title outright with a Kirkwood Community College (KCC) loss to Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) on Feb. 29. A KCC win in that game means DMACC and KCC will share the regular-season championship.
Sophomore Demarion Bariffe-Smith of Skokie, Ill., scored 15 points, sophomore Ty Majlik-Autry of St. Petersburg, Fla., had nine points and freshman Willie Guy of Cedar Rapids and sophomore Zach Lester of Clear Lake finished with seven points apiece the win over SWCC.
The Bears trailed by eight points less than four minutes into the game and took the lead for good at 20-19 on a layup by Majlik-Autry with 10 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first half. The basket began a 20-2 run for DMACC that resulted in a 38-21 lead with just more than four minutes left in the half. The Bears led 42-31 at halftime and stretched their advantage to as many as 22 points late in the second half.
DMACC shot 56 percent in the win, hitting 29 of 52 field goal attempts. The Bears were 6-of-17 from three-point range and 12-of-14 from the free throw line.
Schmitt's 13 rebounds helped the Bears to a 45-30 advantage on the boards. Bariffe-Smith added six rebounds and Majlik-Autry and Lester finished with five apiece. Guy dished out a team-high six assists and Bariffe-Smith added five. Majlik-Autry and freshman John Herrick of Boone led DMACC in steals with two.
The DMACC men's basketball team will play in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XI Division II Men's Basketball Championship March 3 to 7. Pairings for the tournament will be announced following the completion of conference play on Feb.29.