After a three week break, the Western Nebraska Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams will be back on the court on Monday, January 7 in road contests.
The Cougar men, ranked 23rd in the latest NJCAA basketball poll, will be looking to snap a 2-game losing skid when they head to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to take on Laramie County Community College at 6 p.m. The two squads already met once in December when the Cougars registered a 101-76 win at Cougar Palace. In that contest, Dru Kuxhausen and Martin Roub combined for 55 points and nine 3-pointers. Kuxhausen had 26 points and six treys while Roub finished with 29 points.
The Cougar women will also open the second semester on Monday when they face the defending Region IX champion Casper College Lady T-Birds at 6 p.m. in Casper, Wyoming. This will be the first meeting of the year between the two Region IX finalists from a year ago where Casper earned the regional title with an 85-75 win. Both teams did compete in the national tournament a year ago with Casper earning the automatic bid and WNCC earning an at-large berth.
After Monday, the Cougars will be at home January 11-12 as WNCC opens up Region IX South competition. The Cougar men will play once over the weekend when they host Otero Junior College on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the South opener for both squads. The Cougars and Rattlers went 1-2 last year when the two squads faced each other. WNCC’s win over Otero came in the Region IX championship game 86-78 on the Rattler’s home court WNCC holds a 38-20 overall record against the Rattlers.
The Cougar women will have two home games over the weekend. The Cougar women will host Northeast Community College out of Norfolk on Friday at 5:30 p.m. before hosting Otero Junior College at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Region IX South opener.
WNCC and Northeast Nebraska will be facing each other for the first time since 2012 when Northeast was a part of Region IX. WNCC won both games back in that year, winning 49-48 in Norfolk behind 24 points from Jessica Aratani and then earning a 61-48 win at Cougar Palace when Samantha Sanders scored 29 points.
Saturday’s Region IX South opener for the women against Otero will pit the 12-2 Cougars against the 8-5 Rattlers. Last season, WNCC won both contests including 76-44 at LaJunta, Colorado, and then 79-39 at Cougar Palace.