SLCC men's basketball: Bruins begin first steps of big dance

Junior college basketball • Bruins to face Eastern Oklahoma State in first round.
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With an at-large bid neatly tucked away, the Salt Lake Community College men's basketball team begins a quest for the school's second national title Tuesday at the NJCAA Division I National Championship in Hutchinson, Kan.

The No. 11 seeded Bruins (28-4) play No. 22 seed Eastern Oklahoma State (19-15) at 11 a.m. MDT. Should the Bruins prevail, they would play No. 6 seed Central Arizona on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MDT.

The championship is scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT Saturday.

This is the first season at-large teams were allowed in the tournament, which SLCC won in 2009. The Bruins, this season's Region 18 regular-season champions, are 12-3 against teams in the NJCAA Top 25. They received an at-large bid after a defeat in the Region 18 Tournament.

Sophomore Skylar Halford and freshman Sai Tummala lead SLCC in scoring with 17.5 points and 14.5 points per game, respectively. The Bruins are outscoring opponents by nearly 20 points a game.

Eastern Oklahoma, which finished fourth in the tournament last season, has come on with a rush, sweeping its four-game tournament for an automatic bid.