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College basketball: West men rocked by Rochester

BRIAN KORTHALS/DAILY GLOBE Minnesota West’s Jordan Thomas shoots a three-point shot during Wednesday night’s game against Rochester.

Les Knutson

Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Rochester Community and Technical College’s men’s basketball team displayed a balanced arsenal of athleticism and basketball skill at the Center for Health and Wellness on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College Wednesday evening.

The visiting Yellowjackets (23-3 overall) remained undefeated in the Southern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) with a dominating 102-58 victory over the Bluejays (17-9, 8-5).

Scoring the game’s first eight points and then opening up an 18-2 lead, the game was never in doubt as Rochester continually contested — and often altered — the shooting attempts by the Bluejays with their active defensive schemes.

MW shot a mere 29.7 percent from the field for the game (22-of-74), making just eight-of-35 shots (22.9 percent) in the first half.

The Yellowjackets, meanwhile, were aggressively pushing the pace and distributing the ball. Rochester — which finished with 24 team assists, spread among nine players — shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the field in the first half, hitting 20-of-30 attempts, including six-of-nine from behind the arc.

Leading the barrage was 5-10 sophomore guard Rico Gunn (Bloomington), who scored 16 of his game-high 26 points prior to intermission. Gunn nailed a trio of treys and converted on a three-point play in the opening seven minutes when the Yellowjackets built a 25-6 lead.

Rochester’s advantage increased to 33-6 before the Bluejays — starting with a three-pointer by 6-3 freshman guard Brett Bennett (Rapid City, S.D.) — began getting untracked. But it was too little, too late, as the Yellowjackets increased their lead to as much as 52-20 before taking a 56-24 advantage into the break.

In the second half, a steal and driving layup by MW sophomore guard Jackson Seitzinger (Yankton, S.D.) and a three-pointer from freshman forward Derek Buysse (Marshall) gave the Bluejays an early spark, but Rochester responded with a 13-4 run to extend a 63-31 lead into a 76-35 spread.

Buysse finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for the Bluejays, who play Riverland (10-15, 3-9) at Austin Saturday, while Seitzinger had five assists and three steals.

Rochester 56 102

MN West 24 58

ROCHESTER (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Claypool 1-2-0-7, Amy 1-1-0-5, Turner 1-3-0-9, McCullough 0-4-4-12, Speer 1-0-0-3, Gunn 5-4-3-26, Ladd 0-0-5-5, Sauer 0-0-2, Robinson 0-6-0-12, Ben 1-4-0-11, Richardson 0-5-0-10. Totals 10-29-14-102.

MN WEST (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Hodges 1-1-3-8, Thomas 1-2-0-7, Murry 1-1-0-5, Seitzinger 1-3-0-9, Buysse 2-5-4-20, Fischer 0-2-0-4, Bennett 1-1-0-5. Totals 7-15-7-58.