Strong defensive showing lifts MCC men over North Platte
NORTH PLATTE - The McCook Community College men held North Platte to 20 first-half points and went on to a 73-63 win Tuesday night at McDonald Belton Gymnasium.
“That first half was some of the best basketball that we have played all year,” said MCC Coach Jacob Brandl. “I thought our guys were really locked into a game plan and really competed and played hard all game. Offensively, it was some of the best ball and player movement that we have had.”
MCC was able to take advantage on the defensive end to build a 41-20 halftime lead. The Knights were held to 27.3 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes while MCC connected on 51.5 percent of its first-half shots including a five-for-10 showing from the 3-point line.
The visitors led by as many as 23 points in the second half, but North Platte whittled the lead down under 10 points several times in the final four minutes of the game.
“We knew in the second half they were going to make a run. That’s basketball and that happens,” said Brandl. “I thought we did a pretty good job of making some big answers when we needed them.”
“Madit (Lueeth) hit that big 3 late in the game that probably sealed it for us” Brandl said of the shot by the sophomore at the 2:03 mark of the game to put MCC up 69-59.
Sophomore Simon Akena (Stockholm, Sweden) led MCC with 15 points. Lueeth (Edmonton Alberta, Canada) hit four of six -pointers and scored 14 points.
Freshman Martel Evans (Omaha Creighton Prep) scored 11 points off the bench. Freshman Noah Boyed (Castries, St. Lucia) scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and freshman William Humer (Sollentuna, Sweden) scored 10 points with six boards. Freshman Zeki Cavli (Bodrum, Turkey) grabbed eight rebounds from the guard spot and scored seven points.
“We just got a lot of really good production from a lot of guys,” Brandl said.
MCC shot 49.2 percent for the game, 42.1 percent from beyond the arc, and just seven of 14 from the free-throw line. MCC outscored North Platte 24-10 in the paint.
NPCC held a 50-35 rebound edge, including 23 on the offensive end. The Knights shot 35.6 percent from the field for the game, 26.1 percent from distance and five of 10 from the line.
“The only real part that I’m disappointed in is how we rebounded. We are a better rebounding team and we just got beat up there,” Brandl said. “That has to get fixed and when it does, we will be pretty tough.”
North Platte falls to 9-7 on the year and 1-1 in the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference.
MCC improves to 6-13 and takes over the NCCAC standings lead at 2-0.
On Friday MCC travels to Lamar, Colo. for a Region IX South game at 8 p.m. against the 5-13 Runnin’ Lopes). On Sunday MCC goes to Beatrice for an NCCAC contest against No. 15 Southeast Community College (15-4) at 4 p.m.
For all the up-to-date information on MCC basketball this season and all sports including schedules, statistics, rosters and photos, please visit the official website of MCC Athletics at mccindians.com
NEBRASKA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
W - L PCT.
McCook 2 – 0 1.000
Southeast CC 1 – 0 1.000
North Platte 1 – 1 .500
Central CC 0 – 3 .000
Nov. 22 – MCC 64, Central 59 (at McCook)
Dec. 6 – North Platte 89, Central CC 84 (at North Platte)
Jan. 21 – Southeast CC 69, Central 59 (at Beatrice)
Jan. 24 – MCC 73, North Platte 63 (at North Platte)
Jan. 27 – North Platte at Southeast (Beatrice), 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 – MCC at Southeast (Beatrice), 4 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Southeast CC at McCook, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 11 – Southeast CC at North Platte, 4 p.m.
Feb. 14 – North Platte at McCook, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 – North Platte at Central CC (Columbus), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 – McCook at Central CC (Columbus), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 – Southeast CC at Central (Columbus, 4 p.m.