WNCC men fall to Lamar 84-81
     2015-01-22      By Mark Rein   
Photo by Mark Rein/WNCC - Davis Carter shoots for two points during WNCC’s game with Lamar Saturday afternoon. 
By Mark Rein
WNCC Sports

The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team let another game slip from their hands in falling 84-81 in the final minute to Lamar Community College in a key Region IX South game Saturday afternoon at Cougar Palace.

The Lamar loss probably stings a little bit more than the 96-93 loss to Northeastern Junior College on Tuesday. Still, it was a contest that the men showed plenty of heart, especially playing with a lineup that didn’t feature leading scorer Preston Christensen, who was out with a concussion. Tyler Crosbie played in the game, but was feeling the effect of the flu bug.

“We did a lot of good things,” WNCC coach Russ Beck said. “It was just a few plays towards the end of the game where we gave up a 3-point and a 4-point play to give away the lead. We have to stay positive and do things the right way and things will start going our way.”

What the game against Lamar did, however, was show another side to the Cougars — the inside game. Riley Jensen, who joined the team at semester, and 7-foot-1 Davis Carter had outstanding contests inside. Julio Guity was also a force inside as well. Between the three big men, they accounted for eight block shots. Jensen had four blocks while Guity had three.

Carter said they played well, they just gave up untimely buckets.
“We have been working a lot more [on the inside game],” the freshman from Denver said. “Julio, Riley, and I have been working on being more aggressive and in practice we go after each other harder, which in turn makes us better for games.”

This loss was another close Region IX South defeat that easily could have gone the Cougar’s way. Carter said that they need to find that stone that is blocking the team from winning and toss it out of the way to get on a winning streak.

“All them [the close losses] hurt, they really do,” he said. “I feel like we are trying to get over the hump right now but it has been tough with all these close losses.”
This game had plenty of ups and downs by both teams. There were seven lead changes and five ties. It also featured seven runs in the second half. Carter said the run that hurt the most was the one the Runnin’ Lopes got to end the game.

“Basketball is a game of runs and in the second half both teams had high and low points,” he said. “It looked like we were going to go away with it [the win] and then they had a nice run to end the game that really hurt us.”

The two teams were knotted at 33-33 at halftime. The second half was a back and forth affair where both teams were up by at least eight points on a couple occasions but saw the other team come back.
WNCC led 44-39 early in the second half before Lamar went on a 11-0 run to grab a 50-44 lead. WNCC responded with a nice 12-3 run to lead 56-53 behind a Crosbie 3-pointer and a 3-point play by Guity.

The Cougars pushed the led to even further at 65-57 as Diante Mitchell canned a 3-pointer. Back came Lamar as they moved to a single point, 73-72 with 2:16 to play. WNCC went up 75-72 before Lamar had a 4-point play where they canned a 3-pointer while being fouled inside. That play started an 8-0 run to put Lamar up 80-75.
But, just like other games, this Cougar game don’t give up and they battled back cutting the lead to three points on several occasions.

WNCC had one last effort to tie the game. After forcing a traveling call with 4.6 seconds left, the Cougars had a chance to tie the game, but Crosbie’s 3-pointer hit the rim and bounced away to end the contest.

WNCC was led in scoring by Mitchell with 16 points followed by 13 from Guity. Chad Owens also had a good game with nine points followed by Jensen, Carter, Damion Rashford all finishing with eight points.
The Cougars will be back in action Friday when they host Eastern Wyoming College in another Region IX South clash.

Lamar 33 51 — 84
WNCC (6-13) 33 48 — 81

LAMAR
Bayek Tuflam 9, Symon Smith 7, Tiwian Kendley 10, Jon Dunmyer 20, Chris Lewis 5, Calvin Brown 7, Ga’Briel Chandler 2, Devante Anderson 13, Shane Fox 2, Mario Zimandis 4, Jiere Morrisey 4.

WNCC
Tyler Crosbie 7, Damion Rashford 8, Jalen Griffiths 7, Diante Mitchell 16, Chad Owens 9, Chase Mason 5, Julio Guity 13, Davis Carter 8, Riley Jensen 8.

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