Jan 31, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets Sports EditorCentral Wyoming College this week sets out this week on a pivotal two-game basketball trip in the Region IX North men's conference.
The trip opens at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday vs. Northwest College in Powell and ends at 7:30 p.m. Saturday when the Rustlers take on Casper College at Thunderbird Gym.
"These games are huge," CWC men's basketball coach Curtis Condie said. "We are playing two of the better teams in the conference."
The Rustlers finished the first half of the conference season pounding Little Big Horn College 87-44 Saturday night at Rustler Gym.
The key to the victory was CWC's aggressive man-to-man defense. The Rustlers allowed 19 points in the first half and 25 in the second half for the victory.
"The student athletes did a great job of executing the game plan," Condie said.
Little Big Horn had 27 turnovers in 40 minutes.
CWC had six double figure players in the game. Malachi Roberts paced the Rustlers with 14 points. Davion Pearson and Ali Sabra had 12 points apiece. James Johnson and Preston Eaton finished with 11 points each. Armani Flannigan contributed at 10.
Pearson and Flannigan were on the floor for 27 minutes each.
CWC hopes to even its regular season series with Northwest after dropping a 72-66 decision Dec. 7 at Rustler Gym in Riverton.
Northwest College comes into the region game with a solid 17-5 record. The Trappers are 5-3 in league play.
"They are so much better," said Condie about how Northwest is playing.
Dawson Community College knocked off Northwest 68-64 Saturday night.
"We can't let them physically beat us up like they did here," Condie said. "Northwest is deep in every position."
Chris Hansen is No. 1 in scoring for Northwest at 20.4 points per game. Jeffrey Solarin (14.8 points per game) and Junior Coleman (13.6) also are scoring in double figures.
Miles Community College is first in the Region IX North division after the first eight games with a 6-2 record.
Gillette College and Western Wyoming Community College are both 4-4 on the season. Dawson Community College is 2-6, and Little Big Horn College is winless at 0-8.
The winner of the Region IX South division hosts the Region IX men's tournament at the end of the season.
CWC 87, Little Big Horn 44
CWC 48 39 -- 87
LBH 19 25 -- 44
CWC -- Davion Pearson 4 (1) 1-4 12, Malachi Roberts 3 (1) 5-6 14, Armani Flannigan 4 2-2 10, Preston Eaton 1 (3) 0-0 11, James Johnson 5 1-2 11, Ali Sabra 2 (2) 2-2 12, Jordan Phouthavong 0 2-2 2, Braden Wright 1 2-2 4, Benjamin Davis 2 1-2 5, Dax Upton 3 0-0 6. Totals 25 (7) 16-22 87.
Little Big Horn -- Marlow 6 (2) 2-4 20, Clark 1 (1) 3-6 8, Tolbert 2 3-6 7, Jackson (3) 0-0 9. Totals 9 (6) 8-16 44.
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