Dru Kuxhausen and Martin Roub combined for 55 points and the No. 14 Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team rolled to their 9th straight win with a 101-76 win over Laramie County Community College Tuesday night at Cougar Palace.
The win moves the Cougars to 12-2 on the season with two games left in the first semester.
Kuxhausen said this team has been playing better in the nine straight wins.
“Since those back-to-back losses, we are playing well,” he said. “I think we have picked it up on the defensive end and since then we have really been sharing the ball.”
It was evident Tuesday night how well the Cougars have improved since those two home losses to College of Southern Idaho and Salt Lake Community College the first part of November. WNCC hit the century mark for the third straight game and four of its last five games.
“We played well tonight and I thought we played as a team,” Kuxhausen said. “We shared the ball and that was good.”
It definitely was a team effort as seven players hit the scoring column with three players in double figures and another three a bucket from the double-figure plateau. The Cougars also shared the ball, finishing with 24 assists on the night.
Roub led all scorers with a double-double of 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Kuxhausen finished with 26 points with six 3-pointers. Green finished with 17 points and eight assists. Kuxhausen also dished out six assists.
LeBeck Warren and Elie Cadet each finished with nine points, while Bryce Sanchious tallied eight points.
Kuxhausen said having that kind of point distribution is something the team needs.
“It was good for everyone to get some shots up and have the opportunity to score,” he said. “A lot of my teammates do a good job of getting the ball where it needs to go.”
There was a big difference between the first and second halves for the Cougars. The opening half WNCC held a 37-24 lead and led 39-28 before LCCC went on a 14-0 run to grab a 42-39 lead. WNCC led 45-44 at the break on a Warren jumper.
The second half was the telling difference. Kuxhausen said they had the Golden Eagles down in the first half but let them back in the game in settling for the slim halftime lead. The second half, Kuxhausen said they were more focused.
“In the first half we had them down by quite a bit and we should have stepped on the pedal and kept them down instead of letting them back in it,” Kuxhausen said. “In the second half I thought we moved the ball better and we just played more pace and got out and ran.”
LCCC sliced the lead to 55-54 on a Mateo Zovko 3-pointer, but that was the Cougars put the game into another gear. Kuxhausen started things with a trey and then Sanchious hit two free throws before Roub had a bucket for a 62-54 lead.
The lead stayed around the double-digit mark the rest of the game. WNCC hit the century mark on a Warren 3-pointer with 20 seconds to play.
WNCC shot 52 percent from the field while popping in 14 3-pointers. LCCC was 40 percent from the field and made six treys.
WNCC held the rebounding advantage 48-40. Roub pulled down 13 boards while Warren and Green each had seven.
LCCC was led in scoring by Tyreese Potoma with 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Mateo Zovko tallied 16 points for the Golden Eagles.
WNCC wraps up the first semester games when it travels to Ottumwa, Iowa, this weekend to face Division I, No. 18 Indian Hills Community College on Friday and then Division II, No. 16 Iowa Lakes Community College on Saturday.
Kuxhausen said they need to play tough against good competition. WNCC already defeated Indian Hills once this season 89-81 in overtime back during Thanksgiving weekend.
“Indian Hills is tough and we already played them,” he said. “I think we just need to stay with our game plan and just show up ready to play against both teams this weekend.”
LCCC (5-9) 44 32 – 76
WNCC (12-2) 45 56 – 101
23, Daequan Spragion 7, Kyle Cabs 2, David Appelgren 8, Mateo Zovko 16, Stephane Manzi 9, Cortney Dean 9, Hunter Severe 2.
Dru Kuxhausen 26, LeBeck Warren 9, Bryce Sanchious 8, Elie Cadet 9, Henry Tanksley 3, Jervay Green 17, Martin Roub 29.