RIVERTON, Wyo. – The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball hung tough on the road and won an overtime thriller 113-102 over Central Wyoming College Tuesday evening in Riverton, Wyoming.
It was WNCC”s fourth game in five days and the win moved the Cougars to 6-4 overall. WNCC will next be in action Friday when they host McCook Community College in a South Sub-region contest.
WNCC’s win Tuesday night was a gut-check performance. WNCC held a 56-38 halftime lead and went up by 22 points on a Them Koang bucket early in the second half.
After that, Central Wyoming caught fire as they went on a 10-0 run followed by a 15-3 run to cut the deficit to five points at 71-66. WNCC pushed the lead back to 10 points on a trey by Carter Brown and a bucket by Issad Solabo with 9:48 to play. WNCC led by 11 after an Agwa Nywesh trey.
Things changed after that as the Rustlers went on a 7-0 run to slice the lead to 79-75 and then cut the lead to two points on an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:51 to play.
Nywesh pushed the lead back to four with two free throws at 86-82. Nywesh hit two more free throws with 31.1 seconds to play to put WNCC up 90-87. Central Wyoming hit one free throw with 21.9 seconds left, but the Rustlers got the rebound on the missed charity toss and put the ball back in the hoop to tie the game at 90-90 with 17.7 seconds.
WNCC had chances in the final 17 seconds, but missed one technical foul and then was whistled for an offensive foul with 6.6 to play. Central Wyoming had a chance to win it, but WNCC’s defense played lets out the last 6.6 seconds to force overtime.
In the extra five-minute period, Central Wyoming took it’s first lead since early in the first half at 94-93 with three minutes to play. WNCC came right back as Brown nailed a 3-pointer to put the Cougars up 96-94. After Central Wyoming tied the game, WNCC got an old-fashioned 3-point play by Solano and then Solano had another bucket to push the Cougars’ lead to 104-96.
WNCC kept executing as Brown buried another 3-pointer for an 107-98 lead and then Tayler Johnson hit two free throws to up 109-100. WNCC won the game 113-102.
WNCC shot 52 percent from the field and were 22-of-31 from the free throw line. The big difference is WNCC buried 15 3-pointers compared to just eight for Central Wyoming. Brown finished with six treys while Nywesh had four. Tyler Mack had three 3-pointers.
WNCC out-rebounded Central Wyoming 49-46. Koang had 12 boards while Johnson had nine rebounds followed by six each from Nywesh and Solano.
WNCC had five in double figures. Koang had 22 points followed by Brown with 21 and Nywesh with 20. Solano added 21 in the win while Thompson had 13.
WNCC 56 34 23 – 113
C. Wyoming 38 52 12 – 102
Them Koang 22, Chase Thompson 13, Tayler Johnson 8, Agwa Nywesh 20, Issad Solano 15, Carter Brown 21, Tyler Mack 9, Conner McCracken 3, Turumbil Zaki 2.
Abdi Dahir 20, Jaylen Searles 17, Kadyn Koch 6, Jaylon Gentry 17, Davis Richard 4, A’Jahni Levias 23, Jack Chlumak 12, Jacob Mattox 3.