TAYLORSVILLE Fourth-ranked SLCC rebounded from Friday night's upset loss to visiting CEU by crushing the Golden Eagles 84-53 on Saturday afternoon, but the Bruins had to do it without standout point guard DaVell Jackson.
Jackson missed the contest after being suspended for allegedly getting into an altercation with a CEU player outside of the Lifetime Activities Center following Friday's emotional showdown. Jackson was cited by campus police with Class B misdemeanor assault for hitting CEU guard Kal Bay once in the mouth.
The incident occurred as players were leaving the building in street clothes after CEU surprised SLCC 57-54. Players allegedly exchanged "a little smack talk" and that led to "a little altercation," according to SLCC assistant coach Russell Beck.
"A punch was thrown. It caught him (Bay) on the lip," said SLCC athletic director Norma Carr. "We've invoked our league rule of a two-game suspension (for violent acts), and we will follow through with that and we will continue to educate and mentor through this process."
Jackson, a sophomore who's leading the Bruins in scoring and assists in league play, will also miss SLCC's first SWAC tournament game. Carr said Jackson "owns up to" throwing the punch, though his version of what led to the incident differs from the CEU players' account.
"We don't condone this at all," Carr continued. "We expect he'll learn from this and hopefully this will be a change in his life so he doesn't approach future situations like this."
"DaVell just made a bad decision (Friday) night," Beck added.
"We'll miss him, but ... we support him as a teammate."
CEU assistant coach Josh Johnston called it "just a really unfortunate incident for both teams." Bay, who scored 13 points Saturday, didn't get suspended because he didn't hit Jackson.
"That's up to the campus police to figure out," Beck said.
Saturday's game was without incident or much intrigue, for that matter. The Bruins showed off their depth nine players scored at least six points while CEU struggled without SWAC leading scorer Darington Hobson.
Hobson, a freshman who's averaging 20.7 points in conference action, aggravated his banged-up knee during Friday's intense game, so he sat this one out to rest it.
"With the tournament coming up, it's better to be safer than sorry," Johnston said.
Andy Palmer led SLCC (27-3, 12-3) in scoring with 16 points. The Bruins, who shot 62.5 percent from the field, also got 10 points apiece from Brian Green and Kael Pope.
Former Taylorsville High guard Colby Vranes led CEU (16-14, 8-7) with 16 points.
The third-seeded Golden Eagles will face No. 6 Colorado Northwestern in the SWAC tournament Thursday in Twin Falls, Idaho. The winner plays second-seeded SLCC in the semifinals Friday.
SNOW 79, NORTH IDAHO 76 (OT): At Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Ryan Brimley drilled five 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lift the Badgers over the Cardinals. Zach Ngawaka added 12 points and eight rebounds for Snow, which earned the fourth seed after holding No. 5 NIC to 39-percent shooting. The two teams will play again in Thursday's opening round.
SWAC WOMENSLCC 72, CEU 55: At Taylorsville, BreAnne Haslam scored 19 points, Keshia Catten added 15 and Krista Farr totaled nine points and nine rebounds as the Bruins cruised. CEU will face Snow in the first round Thursday, while SLCC has a bye.