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NJCAA TOURNEY: Panola opens with win over Shelton State

By FROM STAFF REPORTS
March 20, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Panola College's first trip back to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Men's Basketball Championship since 1979 wasn't going to be a one-and-done trip.

A big day from Panola's Eric McGill made sure of that.

McGill finished with a game-high 20 points, including a key stretch late in the first half as the Ponies took a 77-65 win over Shelton State in opening round action at the Hutchinson Sports Arena on Monday.

Panola (26-8) advances to the second round where they'll meet South Plains at 6:30 p.m. today in Hutchinson.

McGill dropped 20, including a pair of threes in a late first-half run for the Ponies, who led 42-27 at halftime. He finished 4-for-4 from beyond the arc overall and rounded out his day with five assists.

Tope Arikawe followed with 15 points and Devyn Wilson rounded out a trio of Ponies in double digits with 10 points. Wilson also added five assists.

Arikawe finished with seven rebounds and McGill pulled down six for Panola, who shot 42 percent from the field and 36 percent from deep in the win.

Marlon Taylor and Tyrone Killins added 17 points off the bench for Panola.

Wilson drained a three with 5:05 left in the first half to put Panola up, 27-20.

McGill had back-to-back threes around a layup from Arikawe to give Panola its largest lead of the day, 40-25, with 1:16 left in the first half.

Shelton State (27-6) made it a seven-point game, 47-40, with 13:51 left before a 5-0 solo run from Taylor put Panola ahead by double digits.

Shelton State again whittled the margin down to single digits, 61-55, with 5:16 left before Killings make it 68-58 with another three for the Ponies at the 3:07 mark.

The NJCAA National Tournament continues through Saturday. All tournament games will air live on NJCAA TV (www.njcaatv.com).

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