ARK CITY – Neosho County Community College was on the wrong side of history Saturday night at WS Scott Auditorium.
NCCC’s Panthers lost 139-86 in Arkansas City, and the 139 points scored is the single-game record for most points scored in a men’s basketball game in Cowley College’s school history. The initial record was set in 1974, when Cowley scored 134 points.
NCCC’s James Taylor had 15 points; Corbett Kimberlin scored 14 on 4 of 7 3s; Daniel Titus put up 13 points on 2 of 6 from deep; Jae-Min Yang scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds; and Jonathan Breeland Jr. had 10 points and eight boards.
Cowley (23-3, 15-1) is the No. 6 team in the nation for a reason, as the juggernaut of a program has now won 10 in a row. They appear to have several players who are at the very least in consideration for Division I playing time, including Dalen Ridgnal — the eighth leading scorer in the KJCCC — who scored 29 points and brought down 12 rebounds. Martaveon Jones (17th leading scorer in the KJCCC) put up 21 points, including 4 of 8 3s, and six assists, while Will Magnum scored 16 points.
The Tigers got up 6-0 before NCCC called a timeout, as head coach Jeremy Coombs said he wanted to note the shooters on Cowley’s side. But the timeout didn’t stop the force Cowley brought, as they ended the half with a 67-36 halftime lead, including 11 of 25 from deep at the half and 16 of 40 at the end of the game.
Cowley’s Jones was 3 of 5 from deep, while Cevin Clark and Moun’tae Edmundson were 2 of 5 from downtown in the first half.
Cowley ramped up the defense in the second half with a full-court press in specific instances, causing NCCC to commit 32 turnovers by the end of the game, while the Tigers had just 13. What really held NCCC back, however, was 50 second-chance points for Cowley versus NCCC’s seven, as well as 74 bench points for the Tigers to 22 for the Panthers.
Talent, girth, athleticism and other attributes separate Cowley from most.
“Well, we’ll never play a game like this; we have four more games and not one game the rest of the season will be this type of game,” Coombs said. “We don’t match up with these guys. We don’t have enough of the horses, the numbers. We’re definitely not as tough as that team is and so it’s just a bad matchup for us. We basically told the guys to put this one behind us, we got four more games and our goal is to go 4-0 from here on out.”
For Cowley head coach Tommy Desalme, it was all about the pace of the game.
“We’re trying to make the game as fast as we can and we have rules and things like that, and we’re trying to not let the team do what they want to do, make them play at our pace, then see what happens, and whatever happens I’m good with as long as the pace is up and going. And I thought for the most part we did a good job with that,” Desalme said.
NCCC (10-16, 5-11) will take on Butler (19-6, 12-4) at 7:30 pm Wednesday in Panther Gymnasium.