Jamari Lawrence must have reached his breaking point because after 14 straight losses he took matters into his own hands and drove Southwestern Christian College into the winner’s circle.
Already one of the top 25 scorers in the NJCAA, the 6-foot-1 sophomore guard from Anchorage took his game to another level with a career-high 35-point explosion to key a 91-84 OT win over Temple in Decatur, Ga.
Lawrence drilled 13-of-28 shots including four of eight from 3-point range. He also had four assists to lead Southwestern Christian back from a six-point halftime deficit.
Four days later, he scored 30 points to lead his team to a 70-63 victory over Hill.
Lawrence, of West High fame, has produced four of his five career 30-point games this season, highlighted by highs of 35 and 34.
The Alaskan ranks No. 23 in the NJCAA in scoring at 20.7 points per game on 44% shooting, including 40% from downtown. He’s also averaging 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17 games.
Lawrence has been lethal in January with a 27.8-point scoring average in five games headed into Wednesday’s game against Weatherford.
At Whitworth University, Sullivan Menard of Wasilla pumped in seven 3s on his way to scoring a career-high 29 points in an 89-74 loss to Pacific in Forest Grove, Ore.
The 6-foot-3 senior guard didn’t score his first point until nine minutes into the game, but once he got hot, he was en fuego.
The 2019 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year out of Colony High finished the first half with 15 points, including 12 in a span of 4:44, and capped his big second quarter with a 3 with 5 seconds left.
Menard kept it going in the second half. His final points came on back-to-back 3s in a 26-second span to get his team within 75-59.
His seven 3s shattered his previous career high of four. He also blasted his previous scoring high of 21 points set against Whitman on Jan. 2. His high game in junior college was 19.
At Western Colorado University, Cantwell’s Rachel Cockman dropped in a season-high 28 points in a 76-68 loss to Colorado School of Mines.
She made 10-of-22 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws, and just missed matching her career high of 29 set last season.
Western Colorado trailed by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but Cockman’s layup and free throw got her team within 60-52 with 7:17 to play.
The 6-foot-2 junior forward out of West Valley High added seven rebounds and two blocked shots. She is averaging career highs of 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in 18 games.
She’s also set season highs in 3s (17) and free throws (75).
At the University of Utah, Alissa Pili of Anchorage carried the 16th-ranked Utes with 28 points in a 91-66 loss to No. 25 Oregon State.
Even in a blowout, Pili never stopped scoring. The scoreboard doesn’t determine when she plays hard. She hit a jumper to beat the third-quarter buzzer and then netted eight points in the fourth quarter.
The All-American senior forward out of Dimond High became the fourth college women’s basketball player from Alaska to eclipse the 1,900-point plateau for her career and needs 93 points to join the 2K Club.
For Utah (15-6), this was the fourth nationally ranked team the Utes have played in 16 days. That’s life in the Pac-12.
She ranks second in the conference and seventh in the country with a 22.3-point scoring average on 59% shooting.
Her 469 points in 21 games is No. 3 in the NCAA. She has scored 26 points or more in six games, with three above 30, including 37 against No. 1 South Carolina and 37 against No. 6 USC.
Pili ranks fourth on ESPN’s Top 25 players list and on Tuesday was named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watchlist.