HUTCHINSON, Kansas — No. 13 Salt Lake Community College punched its tickets to the men's basketball national championship game with a huge 83-47 win over No. 8 Gillette College on Friday night.
Every player on the Bruins roster contributed to the win. Conner Toolson led the pack with a game-high 20 points. Tyler Rawson had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Gibson Johnson contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.
Salt Lake went on a quick 7-0 run to start the game. With 12:52 left in the first the Bruins were already ahead double-figures 14-3. Rawson had a dunk to end the first half, allowing the Bruins to go into the locker room up 25, 45-20.
It was not long before Salt Lake was up 30-plus points after going on a quick run in the early minutes of the second half. With back-to-back 3s from Toolson and a nice finish in the paint from Christian Musoko SLCC was up 63-27 with 13:49 left in the game. The Bruins never backed down and coasted their way to the victory.
"Our guys came out to play tonight," head coach Todd Phillips said. "They were able to jump on them early with great defense drawing seven charges on them and limited one of the top bigs in the country to only seven points (referring to Kavell Bigby-Williams, who ended with seven points and nine rebounds)."
The Bruins shot 45.5 percent from the field to the Pronghorns' 24.5 percent. Salt Lake out rebounded Gillette 48 to 33 while tallying 21 assists. SLCC had 19 points off turnovers and 23 points come from their bench.
The championship game will be Saturday at 5 p.m. (MST). Salt Lake will take on No. 7 Hutchinson, which beat No. 11 Ranger in the other semifinal. The broadcast is on www.NJCAAtv.com.