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Basketball squads trying to avoid having to play into conference tourneys

Last updated on March 9, 2019

By Jim Hayes

Both the Volunteer State Community College Men’s and Women’s basketball squads are in jeopardy of having to win play-in games to make the Division VII conference tournament which begins March 1, at Cleveland State Community College.

As of now, the Lady Pioneers control their own destiny. With five games left in conference play, they sport a 4-7 record, pending the outcome of road games this weekend at Walters State and Roane State Community Colleges last Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Pioneers lost to Walters State, 78-50, Jan. 11, and beat Roan State 61-51, Jan. 12. Both of those games were on the Pioneers home court. The Lady Pioneers then will return home for a 5:30 p.m. game with Southwest Tennessee Community College. whom they lost to 67-50, January 18.

They will close out their home season at 2 p.m. Feb. 16, with Dyersburg State Community College, a team they beat on the road 78-68, Feb. 19. The Lady Pioneers close out their season Saturday, Feb. 23, at Jackson State Community College, a team they beat at home 69-63 Dec. 17.

If he Lady Pioneers finish in seventh place or better in the conference they will not have to play in the play-in game Friday, March 1, at Cleveland State. Should they hold onto the seventh spot, they would meet the number two seeded team in the conference.

For now, that would be Motlow State Community College who, at 7-4 are nearly out of reach of conference leader Walters State Community College which has a spotless 11-0 mark.

While the Lady Pioneers control their own fate, the same cannot be said for the men’s team. With six conference games left, they need to move from ninth place in the ten-team conference to sixth to avoid a Friday, March 1, play-in game at Cleveland State.

Four of their final six games are on the road, including this weekend at Walters State and Roane State. The Pioneer Men lost at home to Walters State 93-80 before beating Roan State the next day, also at home, 91-86.

They meet Southwest Tennessee, Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Dyersburg State at 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb.16. Both games are in Pickel Fieldhouse.

The Pioneer Men’s team lost at Southwest Tennessee, 101-67, Jan. 18, and to Dyersburg State 124-114 at Dyersburg on Jan. 19. Both of those losses came after the nation’s leading scorer, George Stanberry, was ruled academically ineligible.

Road games at Columbia State Community College, Wed. Feb. 29, (an 86-70 home loss Nov. 16) and Jackson State, Feb. 23 will close out the Pioneer Men’s Conference Season. The Pioneers beat Jackson State at home 91-80 on Nov. 17.

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