Basketball (M)

Shorthanded Pioneers Drop 2 on Road Trip to Casper

(Casper, WY) The Pioneers hit the road to play a pair of games at Casper Community College on Friday and Saturday against Casper College and Western Nebraska.

Game 1 MCC 69 vs. Casper College 108

MCC squared off with host team and perennial Region IX powerhouse Casper College on Friday night. Despite a big game from Adoum Mbang, who scored 25 points on a 7 for 11 shooting night, Casper College was too much for the shorthanded Pioneers. Still missing three players, the pioneers were relying on just seven guys to get the job done on Friday and that task was just a bit too tall. Casper, on their way to scoring 108 points, landed 6 players in double digits and would outrebound the Pioneers 50-32. While winning the rebound battle, they also went on to shoot 48% (15-31) from behind the arc. MCC will head back to Casper on January 28th for conference play and will look to rebound from the early season loss to their Region IX opponent.

Game 2 MCC 57 vs. Western Nebraska 64

Looking to even up the weekend record in game 2, the Pioneers would be even shorter on the bench after leading scorer Montenia Nelson, Michael Bakke and Uglijesa Portic were sidelined with injuries the previous night. With just six players, the Pioneers battled Western Nebraska for 40 minutes but came up just short as they went on to drop game 2, 64-57. After being outscored 38-24 in the first half, the late game heroics from Deng Kuany and Adoum Mbang fell just short as MCC couldn’t dig themselves out of the 1st half hole. Kuany along with his game high 15 rebounds, would round out his second double double of the year with 10 points. Mbang was a big threat for the Pioneers inside as he went on to score 19 points, 14 of which came inside the paint. Kameron Rauch would also add 16 points of his own on a 7-14 shooting night.

RECAP:

After dropping both games on the weekend in Casper, the Pioneers record falls to 2-3. With six days of rest heading into the weekend matchups with Lake Region State and Williston State college, MCC will look to get back to full strength before the weekend tournament. The pioneers will play at 7PM on Friday, and 5PM on Saturday at Kailey Gymnasium in Miles City, MT.

Coach Tait on the weekend and the team's health leading into the weekend:

"We were shorthanded all weekend but we did have Kameron which is a good sign. Casper is talented and shot the ball well. We fought hard but their bench was just too deep. We took a lot of quality shots but weren't getting the results we wanted and they were. On Saturday we were missing a couple key players and had guys playing out of position. We had a chance late to win but just couldn't get over the hump. We are going to reevaluate a few guys this week at practice and see if we can't be closer to full strength come Friday."

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