Dec 3, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorDaryle Morgan Jr. banked in 3-pointer at the buzzer from halfcourt to pull out a dramatic 68-67 victory for the Central Wyoming College Rustler men's basketball team Monday night over Snow College.
The battle on the hardwood was the home opener for CWC at Rustler Gym.
The Rustlers are now 7-5 on the year.
"The shot was lucky," CWC men's coach Pat Rafferty said. "We didn't deserve to win the game. Snow outplayed us. They outcoached us. They did all the right things to win the game. We didn't do enough things to really win the game. We were lucky. We weren't good."
CWC was up 37-22 at the break only to see the visiting team take a 64-63 lead with 23 seconds left in regulation.
Snow's Chandler Smith knocked down two free throws to make it a 66-64 game in favor of the visiting team.
CWC's Isaiah Tademy pulled CWC within one at 66-65.
CWC fouled Snow's Tim Hughes with three seconds left on the clock. Hughes made the first one and missed the second one to set up the final play of the game.
"We have to learn how to figure out things, because we have given up second-half, double-digits leads," Rafferty said. "It's a combination of a lot of things. We play hard and well to get the leads, but we don't adjust to the opposing team's adjustments."
The Rustlers were coming off a 60-55 victory over Eastern Utah on Friday and a 68-65 win over Eastern Wyoming on Saturday. Both those games were played in a tournament at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs.
CWC 68, Snow 67
The start was a productive one for the Rustlers on Monday night.
Behind the play of Tademy, CWC built a quick 13-4 lead over Snow.
Snow chipped away at the scoreboard to make it a 24-18 game.
The Rustlers sized control of the game at 37-22 at the break.
In the second half, Snow College put on a full court press to get back into the game.
"Snow did some man-to-man defense and switched to zone defense in the first half, which we were fine with it," Rafferty said.
The Rustlers struggled to get the easy shots they had in the first half.
"We just have to be more solid," Rafferty said. "We just don't do enough of the right things."
CWC was up 55-43 only to see Snow trim the score to 55-52.
Down the stretch, both teams hit key shots for the wild finish at the end.
Tademy had team-high honors with 17 points.
Morgan Jr scored 14 points from his guard spot.
"We will continue to play some really good minutes," Rafferty said. "We will continue to struggle until we understand that we can't take possessions off."
The Rustlers now play two straight Region IX games starting Wednesday night at Little Big Horn College.
"Each game is a learning opportunity," Rafferty said. "We have learned some things moving forward."
Little Big Horn has pilled up a 7-5 non-conference mark.
The Rustlers face Dawson Community College at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rustler Gym.
Dawson is 6-3 on the season.
The Rustlers are 1-0 in league play after beating Miles Community College in the conference opener.
CWC 68, Snow College 67
CWC 37 31 -- 68
SNOW 22 45 -- 67
CWC -- Matt Johnson 2 2-2 6, Eimer Lopez 2 3-4 7, Ryan Nemelka 0 2-2 2, Bryce Canda 1 2-2 4, Ricky Norris 2 0-6, 4, Daryle Morgan Jr., 2 (2) 4-6 14, Isaiah Tademy 6 (1) 2-3 17, Malik Wilson 1 (1) 0-0 5. Totals 14 (6) 15-24 68.
Snow -- Gentrey Thomas 2 0-0 4, Walter Wright 2 (1) 4-5 11, Tim Hughes 2 (4) 1-2 17, Chandler Smith 4 (1) 6-6 17, Anthony Morris 1 0-0 2, Blake Turman, 1 0-0 2, Lawrence Pierce, 4 0-0 8, Marcus Bryce 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 (6) 11-13 68.
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