Cougar men get by Lamar

The Western Nebraska Community College men's basketball team scored 57 points in the second half in coming back from a halftime deficit to register a huge sub-region win over Lamar Community College 87-72 Friday evening at Cougar Palace.

The Cougars, who did not make one 3-pointer for the first all year, didn't need to as they blitzed the nets for 47 percent shooting and converted 33 of 47 free throws.

WNCC coach Russ Beck said they made some adjustments in the second half and the momentum turned around greatly.

"Lamar isn't a team that we wanted to hang around. They have shown they can come back. They have won eight of their last 10 games and came from behind in a few games," Beck said. "We didn't want the score to be close in the last five minutes. We made some adjustments of how they were guarding the ball screen and were able to get on a roll."

A big key in the win was the play of several players, but Preston Christensen stepped up his game greatly. The freshman finished with a game-high 20 points, including connecting on 14 of 15 free throws.

"Preston has done a remarkable job coming back from a turf-toe situation and then coming out of his redshirt year late," Beck said. "He sure has added more depth and more dimension to the guard lineup that we have."

WNCC also had three other players hit for double figures. Brandon Morley had a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds, followed by 15 points from Diante Mitchell and 12 points from Tyler Crosbie.

The first half was 20 minutes where neither team ran away from each other. Lamar led at intermission 32-30.

The second half was all WNCC as they opened the half on a 9-0 run to lead 37-28. They continued excelling in lead 51-38. Lamar came back to slice the lead to double digits several times, including 65-60. But the Cougars kept the steam going as they finished off the game with an 8-0 run that saw the Cougar players getting a lot of points off of drives to the paint.

The Cougars, 17-12, will wrap up the regular season today when they face Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. After that they will head to the Region IX tournament that begins March 1.

"We just want to come out and play our game and play," Beck said. "We want to get ready for the tournament so we want to be playing our best basketball right know. So, if we cut down on our turnovers a little bit, I think we are close."

Lamar 32 40 – 72

WNCC 30 57 – 87


Bayek Tutlan 3, Curties Redd 8, Chaun Miller 4, Taylor Peterson 3, Theo Brown 11, Aaron Murray 4, Tiwian Kendley 29, Geodice Ortiz 8, Chris Thompson 2.


Tyler Crosbie 12, Preston Christensen 20, Youssoupha Kane 4, Diante Mitchell 15, DouDou Gueye 4, Joel Einfeldt 6, Jalen Griffiths 3, Derrick Bowers 6, Brandon Morley 16, Julio Guity 1.

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