Basketball (M)

Tale of Two Halves For the Pioneers in Casper

Box Score

(Miles City, MT) Miles Community College men’s basketball hit the road last Saturday to take on the Casper College Thunderbirds in the last Region IX game of the month of January.

The Pioneers played a tale of two halves on Saturday night in their 68-60 loss to Casper College.

A tough first half for the Pioneers and a strong showing from Casper in their home gym, led to a 26 point deficit heading into the locker room.

“We just didn’t make shots,” said head coach Chase Tait. The Pioneers shot an abysmal 18% from the field in the first half.

They couldn’t find the bottom of the net and Casper couldn’t miss. The Thunderbirds put together an impressive run, thanks to some three point shooting by Danny Garrick and Josh McSwiggan, that led to a 41-15 lead heading into the locker room.

“It’s tough to stay focused after a first half like that, but I have to give it to our guys. They battled in the second half,” said Tait.

The word “battle” is an understatement when describing the second half play by MCC. Despite the absence of leading scorer Montenia Nelson, freshmen Perion Little and Adoum Mbang picked up the slack on the offensive end. Combining for 34 of MCC’s 60 points the freshmen duo took on the role of comebackers and had the Pioneers within two possessions of the Thunderbirds.

Not only did MCC get it done on the offensive end, but they stalled a high-powered T-Bird offense that looked unstoppable in the first half. Forcing twelve second half turnovers and outrebounding Casper 18-11, MCC showed that they have the potential to play with the best teams in the conference.

Despite the second half heroics, MCC dropped their 6th consecutive Region IX contest and remain winless in conference play.

Adoum Mbang notched his third double-double of the season with game highs in points (18) and rebounds (12). Perion Little bucketed 16 points as point guard, filling in for the injured Nelson.

Next up for the ‘Neers:

After a strong showing in the second half against Casper, MCC heads into their weekend matchups against Western Wyoming and Central Wyoming with some momentum. The Pioneers lost their previous matchups against WWC and CWC but will have the home court advantage on Thursday night and Saturday night.

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