The Central Wyoming College men's basketball team traveled to Western Wyoming College for a tough Region IX road contest on Wednesday evening. Riding a three game win streak, the Rustlers looked to continue to build momentum in a very tight Sub-Region race. With the win, the Rustlers move into a tie for 2nd place with Sheridan College.
The game was close throughout, with neither team being able to open up a very large lead. Western Wyoming took a 3 point advantage into halftime. In a game that saw four lead changes and was tied four different times, it is no surprise that the outcome would be decided in the last seconds of the game. With 11 seconds remaining, the Rustlers had possession of the ball coming out of a timeout. Positioned on the baseline trailing 78-77, the ball was inbound to CWC freshman, Marquis White, who drove the ball to shoot a highly contested floater that found the bottom of the net with five seconds remaining. The Mustangs would take and miss a shot just across half court on the ensuing possession, as the Rustlers would take home the victory.
"We knew that tonight would be a tough game for us," said head coach Jack Nelson. "Western Wyoming is an extremely tough team that does not beat themselves and never stops competing. They always have a great crowd and overall it is just a difficult place to play. I was really proud of how our guys stuck together even when things weren't going great. All I can ever ask is for them to keep competing and playing the right way no matter what. We did that tonight and because of it we were in a position to win the game late. Marquis made a great play and it's easy to put all the focus on the game winner, but had we not played the way we did for the previous 39 minutes, we wouldn't have been in position for that play to happen."
The victory moves the Rustlers to 5-2 in the Region IX North Sub-Region. The team will host Sheridan College in Rustler Gymnasium on Saturday, February 3rd. With a win the Rustlers would move into 2nd place by themselves, or potentially a tie for first. Tip-off on Saturday will be at 4:00pm, directly following the Lady Rustlers who tip-off at 2:00.