TORRINGTON – After leading nearly the entire first half, Eastern Wyoming College couldn’t overcome a pair of North Platte Community College runs with a late rally in an 87-80 loss to the Knights.
On Saturday, North Platte scored the first five points of the game, but it didn’t take long for the Lancers to respond with nine straight points.
EWC’s lead grew to as many as nine following a bucket from freshman Jonatan Arvidsson seven minutes into the game.
Over the next nine minutes, EWC held the lead, but with under four minutes to play before half, North Platte regained the lead.
It was a lead they never surrendered the remainder of the evening.
“We’re growing as a group,” EWC head coach Tom Moser said. “If you look at the possession by possession, we had some let ups. There are some peaks and valleys in every basketball game, and it snowed ball on us.”
The Knights used a 9-0 run and an 8-1 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to extend their lead to as many as 18.
“We just have to stop those runs as a team,” Moser said. “It was on the scouting report that (Ilya Tyrtyshnik) could shoot it, and he shot it. That was the difference in the ball game.”
With six minutes left in the game, Arvidsson and freshman Sam Tiley connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, sparking a rally.
With a minute and a half left to play, the Lancers found themselves right back in the thick of the game.
Arvidsson drew EWC back within 79-72, but that proved as close as the Lancers would come to seeing the lead again in the loss.
“The thing we are trying to do here is to take the program back to where it was,” Moser said. “We want to show some fight because that’s what the program did when Bob Davis was here. It starts on the defensive end and with our toughness.”
Arvidsson led the Lancers with 21 points, while Tiley added 13. Earl Baker tossed in 12.
North Platte shot 75 percent from the floor compared to EWC’s 69 percent.
The night before, the Lancers fell to McCook Community College, 86-75.
No stats were available from the game.
Eastern Wyoming (1-2) returns to action this weekend at the Air Force Prep tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Lancers will face Northwest Kansas Tech at 7 p.m. on Friday and will play an opponent yet to be determined on Saturday at noon.