Basketball (M)

Pioneers Fight Off Trappers on Home Floor

Box Score

(Miles City, MT) The Miles Community College Pioneers took on the Northwest College Trappers on Wednesday Night at Kailey gymnasium in Miles City.

The Pioneers (10-16, 3-8 conf.) are coming into Wednesday night’s game after a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer in Sheridan last weekend. Northwest College (17-10, 5-6 conf.) came into the matchup on a two game win streak after wins against Little Big Horn and Sheridan last week.

The Pioneers held strong on the defensive end of the court and did just enough on the offensive end, despite being absent sophomore leading scorer Montenia Nelson, to pick up the 71-62 win over the Trappers.

The first half was a defensive showcase by both teams. With less than 70 points combined by both teams, the offenses struggled to find their form early on in the first half. It wasn’t until a the two minute mark that both teams began to heat up. With eight straight possessions that led to points, the Pioneers and the Trappers were neck and neck through the last two minutes. MCC’s Oumar Diaby hit a late three point shot that would give the Pioneers a 29-27 lead heading into the locker room.

MCC hit the jets in the second half nearly doubling their first half points total thanks to strong play by freshman guards Perion Little and sophomore Oumar Diaby. The backcourt play from the Pioneers opened up the lanes for sophomore big man Adoum Mbang who had a sizable height advantage after NWC’s Center, Damon Leach, went down in the first half with a jaw injury.

Diaby kept the NWC defense at bay with some long range shooting (5-10 3pt). Perion Little drove the lane and drew enough fouls to put himself at the free throw line where he would hit 12 of 13 shots from the stripe, including three free throws down the stretch that put the game on ice. Adoum MBang was a force inside where he snagged 15 rebounds including four offensive boards that all led to second chance points.

Mbang, Little, and Diaby were too much for NWC to handle in the second half as MCC went on to outscore the Trappers 42-35 in the second half and cruise to the 71-62 victory.

Little led the game in scoring with 22 points, while Diaby was just behind him with 19. Mbang would notch a double-double where he would lead the game in rebounds with 15, and also finished with 11 points.

The Pioneers picked up their third conference win in four games and moved a game closer to 5th place in the North Sub Region standings.

Next up for the ‘Neers:

MCC will travel to Gillette for a rematch with the nationally ranked Pronghorns. The Pioneers have shown a string of great play in the last two weeks and will look to build on their momentum as the Region IX playoffs are just around the corner. MCC will most likely have a road playoff game that will take place on March 4th after the regular season concludes.

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