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ECC passes first test in national tournament

DANVILLE, Ill. -- Erie Community College advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NJCAA Division II men's basketball tournament with an 85-77 opening round win over Parkland (Ill.) College on Wednesday.

ECC (27-2), seeded seventh, will face Louisburg (N.C.) College at 9:30 tonight in the second round of the 16-team double-elimination tournament.

Freshman guard Sam Hattin tied his career high with 22 points to pace ECC in its first first-round win in four tries in the NJCAA Tournament under coach Alex Nwora.

Tyshawn Edwards (Grover Cleveland) scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half while God'sgift Achiuwa notched his 21st double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Dequan Jones recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds.

After a back-and-forth first half, ECC built a 73-68 lead with four minutes left in the game before using a 10-0 run to seal the win. Edwards scored six of those points, two on drives to the basket and one on an offensive rebound.

Louisburg, the second seed, defeated Kalamazoo (Mich.) Valley Community College, 84-53, to advance.

Expect a high-scoring affair as the Hurricanes rank second in the NJCAA at 95.7 points per game while ECC is third at 92.9 points per game.

Jeremy Atkinson, a 6-foot-4 forward, leads Louisburg (28-1) in scoring (18.6 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg).

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