LCCC Men's Basketball photo

The LCCC Men's Basketball Team huddles around Coach DeWayne Saulsberry in this file photo.

The Laramie County Community College (6-5) men’s basketball team found themselves in overtime for the third time this season before falling to the Northeastern Junior College Plainsmen 90-86 on the road.

“I thought we battled, but we weren’t tough enough to finish it off,” Head Coach DeWayne Saulsberry said afterwards.

The game was a tight affair in the first half with neither team able to get more than two possessions of separation between the sides. The Plainsman had the opening big lead at five and the Golden Eagles closed out the half with a run that gave them a four-point 43-39 lead going to the locker room.

The second half saw multiple ties afforded to both teams, with draws at 53, 77, and 79 where the game would go to overtime after completing 40 minutes of play.

NJC picked up the break with two minutes to go in the overtime period with a 75-71 lead. While the LCCC defense wouldn’t let the Plainsmen get too far away, the offense had lost some steam and wouldn’t be able to close the two-possession gap enough despite some big late three’s, falling 90-86.

Xavier McCord was the leading scorer on the night with 29 points, including going 13 of 16 from the free throw line.

Pedro Ellery finished with 14 points, Jordan Reed added 13, and Tristan Starks continued his run of games in double figures with 10.

“It’s good to see them starting to have that confidence,” Saulsberry said. “Jordan is playing with confidence. Xavier has had two incredible back-to-back games. It’s just the little stuff right now that is killing us.”

Rebounding was an area where Laramie County really struggled, as NJC outrebounded them 40-20 on the night, and Saulsberry said it the Plainsmen were just winning the race to the ball.

“They didn’t do anything that was technical besides saying they were just going to go get it, and we allowed them to do that.”

The Golden Eagles don’t have much time to let this one linger. They are right back into action on Saturday night against Lamar Community College in Sterling as a part of the Region IX Crossover tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 pm and can be viewed on the NJC Athletics YouTube page.