LAMONI, Iowa — The Neosho County Panthers men’s basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 92-71 road victory over the Graceland Yellowjackets on Friday.
Behind an efficient performance from Panthers wing Zaakir Sawyer and a well-rounded team effort on the boards, the Panthers (4-3) pulled away in the second half against the Yellowjackets to earn their first victory since Saturday, Nov. 6.
On a night when the 3-point shot wasn’t falling for Neosho County — the Panthers shot 23.9% from deep — Sawyer used his interior game to take over en route to scoring 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Aside from guard Micah Jones, who knocked down 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, Neosho County struggled to shoot 7-of-36 from 3-point range.
But those misses led to plenty of second-chance points when the Panthers cleaned up the glass for 22 offensive rebounds. Inside the arch, Neosho County converted on 22-of-37 attempts.
The Panthers carried a seven-point lead into the halftime break, and the team’s deep scoring efforts helped widen that gap in the second half. While Sawyer and Jones combined for 37 points, six other Neosho County players chipped in between five and 11 points.
The Panthers will conclude their five-game road trip on Tuesday, Nov. 23, with a game in Harrison, Arkansas, against the North Arkansas Pioneers.
Neosho County 92,
NC: 43 49 — 92
Graceland: 36 35 — 71
Neosho County: Z. Sawyer 21, M. Jones 16, J. Carraway 11, M. Odingo 8, A. Norris 8, J. Harriott 6, A. Ayuel 5, M. Loggins 5, E. Vaigafa 3, N. Hinkley 3, D. Yates 3, M. Reeves 2, D. James 1