MCC turnovers costly in men’s home-opening loss to Dodge
For the second time in a week the Dodge City Community College men topped McCook Community College. On Tuesday the Conquistadores beat MCC 71-58 in the home-opener at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. Last Tuesday Dodge City won at home 68-57.
"When you're playing the big dogs you can't turn the ball over 23 times and that's just been us right now and we've got to figure out how to clean those things up," said MCC Coach Jacob Brandl.
MCC committed 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but held a 36-35 lead at intermission
"Despite those turnovers, we were still in the game and my message to the guys after the game was 'we're close, if we play with that effort every night, we're going to give ourselves a chance,'" Brandl said. "We clean up the little mistakes we're going to be okay."
MCC took a 13-4 at the 13:27 mark of the first half.
"This was definitely a game of two halves at least from our standpoint," Brandl said. "Dodge was pretty consistent scoring, 41 percent in the first half, 41 percent in the second half, they scored 35 in the first half 36 in the second then we only score 22 in the second half."
MCC made just six of 28 shots in the second half (21.4 percent) and were outscored 36-22
"I also thought we did a bad job on the glass in the second half after being really aggressive and doing a good job in the first half," Brandl said. "Obviously anytime you limit them to 12 rebounds like we did in the first half, you know their coach is going to be fired up and they came out ready to go. Credit to Dodge, there's a reason what they're a top 20-caliber team."
MCC outrebounded Dodge City 27-12 in the first half but the Conqs responded by dominating MCC 27-18 over the final 20 minutes of the game. MCC did finish the game with a 45-39 edge on the boards,
Simon Akena (Stockholm, Sweden), the sophomore transfer Three Rivers College led MCC with 21 points, making five of nine 3-pointers, he added 10 boards. Southern Idaho sophomore transfer Madit Lueeth (Edmonton Alberta) scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
MCC shot 31.1 percent for the game, made 11 of 29 shots from the 3-point line (37.9 percent) and connected on nine of 16 free throws (56.3 percent).
"What I'm seeing are fixable mistakes – us not running a set right, us not talking to our bigs when there's a double team coming," Brandl said. "Once we get those things cleaned up, I like where we'll be at."
Dodge City improves to 4-1. The Conquistadors were coming off a weekend road sweep over Otero Junior College and Trinidad State. DCCC's lone loss came in an 88-87 overtime loss to then No. 3 Indian Hills on the road.
MCC, falls to 2-4 and is headed to Ottumwa Friday to face Indian Hills (6-0) in the Reed Overhead Doors Classic at 7 p.m. The Warriors have moved up to No. 2 in the NJCAA Division II Top 25 rankings. (On Wednesday, Indian Hills hosts No. 1 Northwest Florida State).
On Saturday MCC faces Ellsworth Community College (6-0) at 4:30 p.m. The Panthers are ranked No. 7 in the latest NJCAA Division II Top 25 rankings.
"We have to grow up fast and have guys that need to get better," Brandl said.
On Nov. 22, MCC will return home for a Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference game with Central Community College. That game will start at about 7:30 p.m., following the women's game and the McCook Boosters will salute Veterans at the game offering free admission and free popcorn to all Veterans.
For all the up-to-date information on MCC basketball this season and all sports including schedules, statistics, rosters and photos, please visit the official website of MCC Athletics at mccindians.com