Pioneers pull out thrilling OT win over NWC, 92-89

Comeback bid comes up short for MCC women

 

The Miles Community College basketball teams hosted Northwest College on Saturday afternoon at the MCC Centra and nearly pulled out a sweep.

The MCC women lost a tough one 64-57 in the first game, while the MCC men pulled off a dramatic 92-89 win in overtime.

The Lady Pioneers fell to 11-13 overall on the season and 2-8 in the Region IX North Sub-Region. The Pioneers improved to 13-11 and 6-5. They have now won three of their last four games.

The MCC teams will host Gillette on Wednesday night at the Centra. The women’s game is set for 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday evening, the Pioneers controlled the game for the most part, but needed a comeback in the final minutes to send the game into overtime.

“I thought we played really well for the first 25 minutes,” Pioneers Head Coach Chase Tait said. “Then we hit a lull and struggled offensively. We made some plays in the last few minutes and we were fortunate to get to overtime. Once we got to overtime, we did what we needed to do to squeak out a win. Like I’ve said, anytime you get a Region IX win, you’re doing something right.”

The teams came out firing in the first half, with neither team able to shake the other. There were 11 lead changes and five ties in the first 20 minutes, with MCC maintaining a 46-41 lead at the break. The five-point spread was the largest for either team in the first half.

In the first five minutes of the second half, the Pioneers pushed their lead to as many as 12. But Northwest steadily chipped away at the lead and took a 64-63 lead at the 8:34 mark.

With five minutes to play, Northwest had stretched their lead to as many as six, 78-72. 

Teslim Idris and Jonathan Dogbo each had buckets to cut the Northwest lead to 82-81, but Northwest answered with a basket to make it a three-point lead with less than a minute to play.

Each team missed shots and the Pioneers had the ball with 45 seconds to play in regulation.

The Pioneers drew up a play for sophomore Ryan McCarty, who sank his long three to tie the game at 84 with 30 seconds to play.

“That shot was huge,” Tait said. “He had hit a couple in the half and once he gets going, you try to get the ball into his hands. We didn’t run the play exactly as it was drawn up, but it was well enough to get him a clean look and he knocked it down.”

MCC held on defense as Gary Gordon’s layup at the buzzer rolled around the rim and off, sending the game to overtime.

In the overtime period, the lead changed hands three times with Quinn Smith giving the Pioneers a 90-89 lead that they would hold on to.

Smith had the defensive play of the game in the final seconds, blocking Gordon’s shot with 10 seconds left. McCarty grabbed the loose ball and sank both free throws to preserve the win.

The Pioneer defense held Northwest to just 1-8 shooting in the overtime period.

“I thought for most of the game we were good defensively,” Tait said. “We didn’t rebound as well as I’d like, but we forced them into more threes and jumpers than they like and that’s what we wanted.”

The Pioneers shot 42 percent from the field, including 11-21 from three-point range. They were also 21-29 from the free thrw line.

Jonathan Dogbo had a huge game with 30 points. He drilled all five of his three-point attempts. McCarty had three three’s on the game and ended with 16 points. 

Lawrence Fejokwu led Northwest (14-10, 4-7) with 19 points.

In the women’s game, the Lady Pioneers fell behind by as many as 10 in the first half and clawed their way back to make it a close game in the second half.

“It was a tough loss,” Lady Pioneers Head Coach Liz Lewis said. “We played hard, we’re just not getting the shots to fall. It’s hard to play hard for 40 minutes when you play with the numbers we have.”

For the second straight game, the Lady Pioneers were without one of their leading scorers in Tess Blaqueire. She will miss Wednesday’s game against Gillette, but is hopeful to return by the weekend. Without Blaquiere, the MCC women are playing with just seven players.

The Lady Pioneers trailed 35-25 at halftime and by as many as 12 early in the second half.

The Lady Pioneers chipped away at the Northwest lead the entire second half.

Late in the second half, the Lady Pioneers went on an 11-1 run and tied the game at 52 with a pair of Jaycin Tini free throws. But Northwest had the answer and pulled away in the final minutes to get the win.

MCC again struggled offensively, shooting 30 percent from the field and just 3-21 from three-point range. They also couldn’t overocme 18 turnovers.

Tini had a double-double to lead the Lady Pioneers with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Shelby Weeks had 15 points and Ashley Malmquist added 13 points and nine rebounds.

Andressa Augusto had 15 points to lead Northwest (15-9, 6-4).

Northwest 64, Lady Pioneers 57

NWC 35 29 - 64

MCC 25 32 - 57

Lady Pioneers (11-13, 2-8)- Jaycin Tini 21, Ashley Malmquist 13, Shelby Weeks 15, Petra Lumpert 5, Ashley Hildreth 3.

Northwest (15-9, 6-4)- Hattilyn Snyder 4, Sierra Williams 6, Mandee Chistensen 6, Caitlin Clancy 7, Andressa Augusto 15, TaNeil Clayton 7, Sarah Nielsen 6, Imari Simpson 13.

Pioneers 92, Northwest 89

NWC 41 43 5 - 89

MCC 46 38 8 - 92

Pioneers (13-11, 6-5)- Teslim Idris 9, Jonathan Dogbo 30, Quinn Smith 8, Tyree King 8, Ryan McCarty 16, Conner Smyle 8, LaSalle Massey 8, Emmanuel Olufemi 5.

Northwest (14-10, 4-7)- Gary Gordon 10, Gabe Solarin 13, Franklin Uzonwanne 15, Lawrence Fejokwu 19, Tyler Chandler 2, Colin May 11, EJ Hubbard 17, Kilby Rech 2.