In a battle of Top 15 teams, the Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball team shot 50 percent and buried 15 3-pointers in racing to a 108-78 win over Western Nebraska Community College Saturday evening at Cougar Palace.
Salt Lake, who is ranked eighth in the nation, put up 61 first-half points and held the 14th-ranked Cougars to 27 percent shooting in the first half to register the victory and go 1-1 over the weekend. Casper and the College of Southern Idaho also went 1-1 in the Region 9/18 Classic after CSI came back from a 60-47 halftime deficit to top Casper 105-103 in the early game Saturday.
WNCC, who dropped to 3-2 on the season, will have a week to regroup before hosting another 4-team classic next weekend when Central Wyoming College, Western Wyoming Community College, and Williston State come to Cougar Palace. WNCC will play Western Wyoming on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Central Wyoming on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Saturday, WNCC’s shooting woes started early in the match. The two teams were tied just once at 2-2. After that, Salt Lake went on a 10-0 run and never relinquished the lead again.
The Cougars, however, kept fighting in the game. With the Bruins up 12-2, WNCC sliced the lead to 12-7 on a Henry Tanksley 3-pointer and a Jervay Green bucket. Salt Lake came right back on an 8-0 run for a 20-7 lead and later led 37-22. That was when the Bruins went on a 12-0 run to lead 49-22 before settling for a 61-28 halftime lead.
The first half saw several Cougars in foul trouble early, including Green and Dru Kuxhausen each with three fouls.
The second half was an evenly played 20 minutes with WNCC outscoring Salt Lake 50-47. The trading baskets, though, was not enough as the Cougars suffered their second loss of the season.
Shooting was the big reason for the Cougar’s defeat. WNCC shot 26.5 percent in the first half and just 37 percent for the game. Added to that, the Cougars were 3 of 17 from beyond the arc in the first half for 18 percent. The second half was better, shooting 47 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point area (8 of 19).
Free throw shooting wasn’t go the Cougars way either shooting 50 percent at 15 of 30.
Salt Lake, on the other hand, shot 51 percent in the first half, 47 percent in the second half for an even 50 percent for the game. The Bruins buried eight treys in the first half and nine in the second half. Salt Lake was also 19 of 24 from the charity stripe.
Salt Lake also won the rebound battle 53-41.
WNCC had four players finish with double figures. Bryce Sanchious led the Cougars with 22 points, including going 7 of 10 from the charity stripe. Kuxhausen tallied 21 points and six 3-pointers before fouling out.
Tanksley finished with 12 points followed by Martin Roub with 10. Green, after tallying 44 in a game against Southern Idaho on Friday, finished with eight points.
Salt Lake also had four players in double figures. Josh Colon had 25 points with three 3-pointers while going 8 of 8 from the charity stripe. Daron Henson also had 23 points with four treys, while Cameron Mack had 15 and three 3-pointers, and Aaron Burt tallying 12 points.
In the first game of the day, Casper College ran out to a 60-47 halftime lead on 43 percent shooting while burying eight 3-pointers. The second half was the difference as the T-birds shot 36 percent and made just two treys. CSI, on the other hand, stayed consistent in shooting 46 percent in the first half and 47 percent in the second half. The big difference in the game was rebounding, where the Golden Eagles held a 59-48 advantage.
Casper had four players in double figures, led by Isaac Bonton with 29 points, including five 3-pointers and going 12 of 15 from the free throw line.
Southern Idaho had six players in double figures. David Walker finished with 20 points, including going 8 of 10 from the free throw line, while Coreyoun Rushin and N’Keil Nelson each had 18 points.
Casper (3-1) 60 43 – 103
Southern Idaho (2-2) 47 58 – 105
Braxton Bertolette 18, Jalen Harris 4, Keiron Goodwin 7, Amin Adamu 6, Isaac Bonton 29, Philip Pepple 6, Wilfried Likayi 16, Zion Tordoff 4, Broc Furman 10, James Hampshire 3.
David Walker 20, Malik Porter 6, Coreyoun Rushin 18, Roberto Gittens 11, N’Keil Nelson 18, Coleman Sparling 3, Brayden Parker 15, Jaxon Edelmayer 12, Andrea Lo Biondo 2.
Salt Lake (2-1) 61 47 – 108
WNCC (3-2) 28 50 – 78
Asa McCord 8, Daron Henson 23, Cameron Mack 15, Aaron Burt 12, Alan Zekovic 6, Dimi Pansev 2, Matt Lindsy 9, Josh Colon 25, Hunter Schofield 8.
Dru Kuxhausen 21, LeBeck Warren 2, Bryce Sanchious 22, Ernesto Chavez 1, Elie Cadet 2, Henry Tanksley 12, Jervay Green 8, Martin Roub 10.