CONCORDIA, Kan. – In search of their first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference win of the season, the Cloud County Community College men's basketball team would be held to just 18 points in the second half as part of a 53-46 home loss to Seward County Community College inside of Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Saturday, November 30th.
Falling to 5-4 overall, the T-Birds are now 0-2 in KJCCC play while the Saints improved to 6-2 overall and picked up their first conference win to improve to 1-1 in the KJCCC.
Free throws would make up four of the first six points of the contest as the T-Birds and Saints would trade the opening six points of the contest before an 8-0 Seward run would put CCCC in an 11-3 hole with 13:24 remaining in the first half. After a Ty Duin jump shot 1:01 into the contest, Cloud County would go 6:15 without a point as Chad Vincent-Simon would break the drought with a layup to help spark a 9-1 run that would tie the game at 12-12 with 9:47 remaining in the opening period.
Seward County would then endure a 3:10 scoreless streak that would allow the T-Birds to go up 16-12 on a Jay Lewis triple as Cloud County would manage to slowly extend their lead to 23-15 with just over four minutes left before halftime. A DJ Sims layup would give CCCC their largest lead of the game at 28-18 with 50 seconds left in the first half, but SCCC would respond with two quick buckets to end the half and cut Cloud County's double-digit lead down to six at 28-22.
Lewis would attempt to get the T-Bird offense going in the second half, connecting on a triple with 18:24 remaining in the game to put CCCC up 31-22 before seeing the Saints score nine of the next 11 points to get back within two at 33-31 with just under 15 minutes left. The game would eventually become tied at 36-36 with 12:57 remaining as a Branton McCrary free throw would give Seward a chance to make a game of things heading into the latter stages of the second half.
An Iyen Enaruna layup with 12 minutes left in the game would tie things at 38-38 for Cloud County as a 9:39 scoring drought for the T-Birds would see Seward County score the next 12 points of the game to take their largest lead of the game at 50-38 heading into the final five minutes of action. Following an Enaruna free throw to get Cloud County back on the board, Sims would hit a big three to close the deficit to eight at 50-42 with 1:58 remaining as the T-Birds would look to make one last push down the stretch. A comeback would not be in the cards however as the Saints would connect on three free throws in the final minutes while allowing just two field goals to CCCC to hang on for the seven-point victory.
Offensive woes would be present in the second half as the T-Birds went just seven-for-29 (24.1 percent) from the field in the final 20 minutes to finish the game 17-of-55 (30.9 percent) from the field after going 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) in the first half. The T-Birds would lead by as many as 10 in the game, but committed 29 turnovers (15 in the second half) to give the Saints a 24-12 advantage in points off turnovers to along with a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Leading all players in the game scoring was Lewis with 21 points and five rebounds while Enaruna would grab 13 rebounds despite scoring just three points. Duin would also provide some all-around support, scoring five points to go along with three assists and one steal.
Things don't get any easier as Cloud County will play host to an 8-1 Colby Community College team at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4th. The Trojans lone defeat came back on November 12th at Northeastern Junior College as CCC has won five straight games including a 92-73 victory over Butler Community College on Saturday afternoon.