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WNCC men, women split contests at Northwest Kansas
 January 8, 2013

GOODLAND, Kan. -- The Western Nebraska Community College men's and women's basketball teams kicked off the new year with a split of contests on Monday against Northwest Kansas Technical College in Kansas.

The Cougar women put five players in double figures, led by Gritt Ryder's 14 points, as they ran past Northwest Kansas 88-52 for their third straight win.

The WNCC men, after getting two clutch 3-pointers by Trey Moore and Rich Williams in the waning seconds of regulation and overtime, fell to the Mavericks 77-76 in an extra 5-minute period. It was the second time the two squads have gone to overtime. WNCC won the first encounter back on Dec. 7, 96-85.

The women's game was all Cougars. After the two squads were tied early at 9-9, the Cougars went on a 19-2 run to lead 28-11 before leading 55-25 at halftime.

WNCC quickly put the game away with a 21-point run that pushed the lead to 78-29 and the Cougars never looked back.

Gritt Ryder led the way with 14 points followed by Ashley Stevens with 13 points. Jessica Aratani and Mikayla Brower each chipped in 12 points, while Shalisa Moffit had 11 points. Michelle Brassard also had a near double-figure night with nine points.

The men's contest was a tight-knit contest from the get-go and WNCC coach Russ Beck was pleased with how hard his team played while playing short-handed. The Cougars hit a number of clutch shots and they kept fighting until the end.

"We turned the ball over too much and we gave up too many offensive rebounds," he said. "However, we were scrappy and really competed. We had guys step up and hit huge shots. I was proud of the guys and we need to stay positive and continue to get better. Starting tomorrow we need to win them all as we start subregion play."

WNCC was down early 27-23 deficit to take a 29-27 lead. WNCC led 32-29 in the fading seconds of the first half before Northwest Kansas hit a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 33-32 halftime lead.

The second half saw the teams switch leads plenty of times. WNCC took a 50-46 lead on a Cody Johnson 3-pointer.Northwest came back to take a 66-60 lead and led 68-65 with 13 seconds to play. Trey Moore forced overtime as he hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left.

In the extra period, the Mavericks went up 74-69 on back-to-back 3-pointers and led 76-71 with two minutes to play. WNCC came storming back, tying the contest at 76-76 on a Rich Williams 3-pointer with 50 seconds to play. Northwest's Gian Clavell then nailed one of two free throws with four seconds to play for the win.

Both WNCC teams will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to Lamar Community College to open up South Subregion play. After Tuesday, the Cougars return home to face McCook Community College on Friday.

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