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MCC men lose at Northeastern JC 80-69

McCook Community College Logo on the left with the words McCook community college basketball mens on the right

STERLING, Colo. – The McCook Community College men fell to Northeastern Junior College Saturday 80-69.

The Plainsmen took control of the game early and led 51-32 at the half.

“The first half really killed us,” said MCC Coach Jacob Brandl. “We just put ourselves into too big of a hole and on the road against a good team it's almost impossible to come back from that.”

MCC responded and held a 37-29 edge over the final 20 minutes.

“In the second half we were so much better I thought we were aggressive on defense and were way more physical,” said Brandl. “But again, we would make a run and get a stop but an offensive rebound would give them the momentum back.”

MCC lost the rebound battle 45-20. The Plainsmen picked up 18 on the offensive end and held a 22-3 edge on second-chance points.

“I thought physically they just beat us up,” said Brandl. “Every 50/50 ball or lose ball went their way. And that can't happen.”

Freshman Bryan Akanmu (Paris, France) exploded for 30 points to lead all scorers. He was 12 of 18 from the field, three-for-six from the 3-point line and three-for-three at the free-throw line.

Louie Tucker (freshman, Bristol, England) scored 14 points and made four of nine 3-pointers.

“I’m proud of some guys stepping up and keeping us in it,” said Brandl. “Martel (Evans) was battling the flu, and he went out and fought and gave us what he could. Bryan was really good in the second half and just put us on his back like Louie did in the first.”

MCC shot 47.3 percent from the field, made eight of 22 shots from the 3-point line (36.4 percent) and went nine of 16 from the free-throw line (56.3 percent.)

NJC shot 47 percent from the field, made four of 16 from distance (25 percent), and made 14 of 18 free throws (77.8 percent).

Both teams turned the ball over 12 times.

“We just didn't make enough winning plays," said Brandl.

NJC goes to 11-11 on the season and 4-3 in the Region IX South standings.

MCC falls to 9-15 and 4-4 in the standings.

“We need some consistency from our entire group moving forward,” said Brandl, “You learn a lot from a loss and I'm excited for our group to get back to work – and finish this race together.”

On Tuesday, the Indians are right back in Region IX play when the travel to North Platte for a 7 p.m. game against the Knights.

On Friday MCC is home to host Western Nebraska for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Up-to-date information about MCC basketball including schedules, statistics, rosters and photos can be found on the MCC Athletics website,