Carter helps Tigers overtake Ellsworth

IOWA FALLS – Troidell Carter matched a career-high with 24 points and the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball team shot 67 percent in the second half to rally past Ellsworth Community College 82-79 on the road Monday.

Trailing 42-39 at the break, the Tigers hit six of their first eight shots, including a trio of 3-pointers, to claim control of the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference cross-divisional contest.

Guilherme Verardo, Merdic Green and Jamal Gatali each connected from deep as MCC (14-12) built a 15-point cushion midway through the second half. The Tigers endured a six-minute field goal drought with some strong shooting at the line, finishing 30-of-38.

The Panthers (18-7) whittled the lead to four with a 10-2 run, but John Johnson came up with a steal and hit a free throw to preserve the win. Carter reached double-figures for the 12th straight game on 9-of-15 shooting and Mike Rodriguez made a career-best 13 free throws to finish the game with 19 points and six assists. Gatali recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Green added 13 points.

Ellsworth scored the final seven points of the first half to take a three-point lead before MCC swung the momentum with a 14-2 run to begin the second. The Tigers held a double-digit lead until the final minutes before making eight of their last 10 free throws to close it out.

Tonnie Collier paced the Panthers with 27 points. Ellsworth outscored MCC 48-34 in the paint and 24-10 on second-chance points but made just 3-of-16 on 3-pointers.

The Tigers continue cross-division play Wednesday, hosting Kirkwood Community College at 7 p.m. in the Student Activity Center.