TORRINGTON – Coming off the first win over Western Nebraska Community College in seven seasons, the Eastern Wyoming College men’s basketball team looked to continue its late season upward swing as they faced Casper College and Western Wyoming Community College last week.
On Wednesday, the Lancers raced out to a 16-4 lead on Casper inside the first six minutes of the game behind shooting from sophomores Jeremi Jiba and Sam Tiley. Those two combined for 12 of the early points for EWC.
Ultimately, the Lancers faltered down the stretch in a 92-84 loss to the Thunderbirds.
Eastern Wyoming maintained a double-digit lead throughout much of the first half, but in the final six minutes, Casper started to chip away at the deficit.
The visiting T-Birds cut it to as few as five before the break, and they kept cutting at the Lancer lead early in the second half.
Casper got no closer than 50-47 before a 3-pointer from sophomore Jonatan Arvidsson got the EWC offense going again.
The Lancers pushed its lead back to 13 following a 3-point from sophomore Jordan Potts.
EWC once again held a double-digit lead until late.
Coming out of a Thunderbird timeout with 8:21 remaining, Casper made one last run.
The visitors outscored the Lancers 30-11 for the rest of the game.
Casper tied the game at 81 off a steal and layup on the full-court press, and promptly took the lead on the ensuing possession off a second straight Lancer turnover as the T-Birds pulled away for the eight-point win.
Tiley led the Lancers with 23 points, while Arvidsson added 20. Jiba tossed in 12.
On Saturday afternoon, Eastern Wyoming knocked off Region IX North leader, No. 11-ranked Western Wyoming, 77-72, sending the sophomores out on a winning note in their final home game.
Jiba and sophomore David Hook led the Lancers with 17 points, while Arvidsson and Tiley added 14 and 10, respectively.
The win improves the Lancers to 14-14 on the season, including 3-9 in the North.
EWC will wrap up the regular season with road trips to Cheyenne on Wednesday to face Laramie County Community College at 7:30 p.m. and to Gillette on Saturday at 4 p.m.