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College Basketball: South Suburban knocks off Joliet Junior College 64-54

South Suburban’s Charles Knowles Joliet Junior College’s JustScanlan share laugh after SantClaus participated ceremonial jump ball Saturday. | Jeff Vorva/For

South Suburban’s Charles Knowles and Joliet Junior College’s Justin Scanlan share a laugh after Santa Claus participated in the ceremonial jump ball Saturday. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 16, 2014 7:02AM

Former Thornton standout Antonio Levy admits he can be a little bit streaky, but this was crazy even by his standards — or anyone’s standards for that matter.

The South Suburban College sophomore was 0-for-5 from the floor in the first half of a nonconference battle with Joliet Junior College on Saturday in South Holland and his team was down 28-18.

Instead of mailing it in during the second half and letting someone else take over the show, the 6-foot-1 guard kept shooting.

In the final 18 minutes, 7 seconds of the game, he hit all nine of his shots. That helped the Bulldogs, ranked fourth in the nation among Division II junior college teams, pull off a 64-54 win over the Wolves, who were ranked seventh in the nation in Division III.

“I attacked the basket a lot more,” Levy said. “I knew the team needed me to play better.’’

Levy finished with 27 points and added five assists.

“We went up against a zone and sometimes he has to feel his way around and thank God he figured it out,” SSC coach John Pigatti said. “In the second half he was able to spread out the zone a little bit. And he picked it up on defense as well.”

Levy said he is getting attention from several four-year colleges, including a pair in Missouri. Heading into the game, he was averaging 20 points per game.

The Bulldogs improved to 11-2. Korbin McClain added 11 points, while Jalen Brown had nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

The Bulldogs have two road games but when they come back home, they have a huge game against the nation’s No. 1 Division II team, Cincinnati State on Dec. 29.

“These are the kinds of games we really need to play,” Levy said. “I look forward to playing the best.”

JJC fell to 7-4. After a seven-game winning streak, the Wolves are struggling. Coach Joe Kuhn said suspensions and injuries have claimed four of his top eight players.

“That has to do with part of that streak,” Kuhn said. “We just have to play through it and get everybody healthy again. We have three games next week so we’re hoping to be 100 percent healthy by Thursday.”

Plainfield Central graduate Justin Scanlan led the Wolves with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Deiondre Cunningham added 13 points.

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