SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – The Eastern Wyoming College men’s basketball team struggled to slow down Western Nebraska Community College’s sharp-shooter Teddy Allen Monday night in an 82-69 loss to the Cougars.
Allen dropped a double-double on the Lancers, scoring 34 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“(Teddy Allen) is tough to guard. He’s tough to officiate, but we have to control our team to make sure we execute and don’t turn the ball over,” EWC coach Tim Moser said.
It was a one-possession game midway through the second half before the Cougars pulled away late.
Sophomore guard Sam Tiley dropped in a pair of free throws with 10 minutes left, cutting the Western Nebraska’s lead to 62-59.
Over the final 10 minutes, though, the Cougars outscored the Lancers, 20-10.
“We did some dumb things. We turned the ball over. We didn’t block out,” Moser said. “We have to understand the importance of every possession against good teams. We are right there. It was a four-possession game.”
Eastern Wyoming College never led in the game, falling behind 7-0 in the first two minutes of the game, but it was freshman Curtis Fornchor, who came in off the bench and provided a much-needed spark.
“We have some guys on the bench who haven’t played a lot. We are trying to grow their effort,” Moser said. “Curtis is getting better daily. Big John (Hall) didn’t play today. (Jeremi) Jiba is getting better. We have a chance to really grow our team to pursue a championship.”
Fornchor scored four points and tallied a shot block over a two-minute span.
With eight minutes remaining in the opening half, EWC cut the deficit to 29-26. Three was the closest the Lancers came to seeing the lead all evening.
Sophomore David Hook led the Lancers with 13 points, while Tiley and sophomore Jordan Potts added 12 each. Fornchor and sophomore Earl Baker tossed in eight apiece.
“We have to keep growing, growing and growing. We are right there in all these games, we just have to find a way to win them,” Moser said. “We’ll let them go home for Christmas break and let all the stuff we’ve taught them sink in and come back fresh in the pursuit of a North championship. We’ve already proven we can play with anybody in the league, but we just have to finish it off.”
The Lancers (9-5) resume their season on Saturday, Jan. 4 in Goodland, Kan., against Northwest Kansas Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.