CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team scored 51 second-half points in posting an 86-79 win over Laramie County Community College Tuesday evening in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
WNCC moved to 6-2 on the season while LCCC dropped 5-5.
The win was a huge comeback in the second half for the Cougars. WNCC trailed at halftime, but outscored the Golden Eagles 51-41 to get the 7-point win.
“I have been here for five years and this place has always been a tough place to play,” head coach Billy Engel said. “They have always given us fits here and for whatever reason, Laramie County always plays with a ton of confidence here and makes a bunch of shots. Our guys had to really battle to pull this one out tonight.”
WNCC started strong in the first half, jumping out to a 22-8 lead behind a Rodney Sawyer 3-pointer and dunk followed by a Carter Brown old-fashioned 3-point play before back-to-back buckets by Them Koang.
After that, LCCC went ahead and led at halftime 38-35.
The second half saw WNCC score the first six points to take a 41-38 lead. After LCCC tied the game at 44-44, WNCC took a 48-44 lead on an Agwa Nywesh bucket. The Cougars would not trail again the rest of the way, building a 9-point lead at 62-53 on back-to-back Sawyer buckets with 7:53 to play.
LCCC came back to slice the lead to five points at 74-69 on a dunk and then later with 31 seconds to play, cut it to six at 81-75. But WNCC hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch for the win.
The Cougars were 16 of 20 from the charity stripe in the win while LCCC was 29-of-35.
WNCC was led in scoring by Sawyer with 21 points while Koang finished with 19. WNCC also received 15 from Biko Johnson and 14 from Nywesh.
WNCC, 6-2, will be off until next weekend when they travel to Gillette, Wyoming, for a 3-day tournament against teams from Montana and North Dakota, where they will face Dawson on Friday, Williston State on Saturday and Miles on Sunday.
The Cougars will then wrap up the first semester with a home contest against Laramie County on Dec. 14.
WNCC 35 51 – 86
LCCC 38 41 – 79
Rodney Sawyer 21, Them Koang 19, Biko Johnson 15, Agwa Nywesh 14, Carter Brown 6, Carl Thorpe 4, Chancelor Johnson 3, Mamadou Sow 2, Dimitrije Nikolic 2.
Xavier McCord 24, Max Reyes 20,Derrick Harden 14, Arion Lewis 7, Nolan Causwell 6, Ben Hageman 4, Jaedon Bradley 2, James Munlyn 2.