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McCook Community College Men Basketball Ezichi Kalu slams home a dunk in early second half action Tuesday at home against Lamar

MCC Men open second semester with double-overtime loss

McCook Community College Men Basketball Ezichi Kalu slams home a dunk in early second half action Tuesday at home against Lamar

The McCook Community College men’s basketball team lost to Lamar Tuesday at home in double-overtime 72-63.

“I thought we played hard enough to win this game but I don’t think we played tough enough or smart enough to win it,” said MCC Coach Jacob Brandl.

In a game that saw 20 lead changes, MCC sophomore Damien Boles Jr, banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime at 51-51. The teams remained tied at 60 at the end of the extra five minutes but Lamar seized the game with a 12-3 edge in the final overtime period.

“At the end, Lamar just made more winning plays than we did… the ball gets bounced around and we don’t have a full five guys looking to collapse and grab that ball,” said Brandl. “I don’t know how many loose balls were on the floor that we just didn’t come up with. It seemed like they came up with all of them and that can’t happen if you’re trying to win games.”

Lamar led 23-21 at the half with the two teams exchanging leads six times with the game tied six other times. Neither team was able to stretch the lead to more than four points in the first half.

MCC held a 27-22 rebounding edge in the first half including 11 on the offensive end.

“We were dominating the boards at halftime and in the second half we came out and got our butts whipped on the glass,” Brandl said.

Lamar finished the game with a 59-51 advantage including a 37-24 edge in the second half and overtime.

MCC held the Runnin’ Lopes to 29.4 percent shooting in the first half and 32.9 percent for the game. Lamar made just two of 21 shots from the 3-point line for the game

“Defensively you hold a really good offensive team like that, to 33 percent from the field and 9 percent from the 3-point line, you feel pretty good about that,” Brandl said.

Julian Lual (Calgary, Alberta) led MCC with 20 points and had 15 rebounds including six offensive boards. Boles Jr. scored 16 points. Ezichi Kalu (Lagos, Nigeria) had his best game of the season scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

MCC shot 30.9 percent from the field and made nine of 33 shots from distance (27.3 percent) and took just eight free throws in the game, making four. MCC was outscored 18-4 at the line with Lamar making 18 of 23 tries (78.3 percent).

MCC turned the ball over 19 times and Lamar 17.

“19 turnovers are not going to win you the game especially if you are shooting 31 percent from the field,” Brandl said.

Lamar improves to 9-5 on the season and the MCC fall to 3-13.

“Tonight was similar to what happened to us twice in the first semester,” Brandl said. “We talked about learning from mistakes as a basketball program and we need to start making some adjustments otherwise it’s going to be the same song and dance and we’re not going to survive,” Brandl said.

The men will be on the road Friday and Saturday at Western Nebraska (10-4) and Northeastern Junior College (4-8).

For more photos from tonight’s game, please visit the MCC Facebook page at

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