Northeastern Junior College picked up a pair a road wins over North Platte Community College on Tuesday.
In the women’s game, the Plainswomen rallied for a 62-50 victory, followed by the NJC men holding on for a 75-71 win.
After leading the majority of the game, North Platte Community College (8-9) was outscored 27 to 11 in the fourth quarter as Northeastern Junior College (8-8) rallied for a
NJC shot just 31.8% from the field and 44.4% from the free throw line, but held NPCC to 26.2% shooting from the field. NJC also won the rebounding battle 55 to 48 and went plus-4 in turnover margin.
After allowing just 35 points through three quarters and holding a 39-25 lead, the Knights allowed 27 fourth-quarter points and only mustered 11 themselves.
"I just thought we got a little lackadaisical on the defensive end," NPCC head coach Jeff Thurman said.
Plainswomen sophomore Aleksandra Ratnikava did the most damage, going 3-of-7 from 3-point range on her way to scoring a game-high 24 points.
With the score tied 48-48 and 2:40 remaining in regulation, Ratnikava gave NJC the lead for good, draining a corner 3.
"We knew from our scouting report there were some shooters we couldn’t allow to have open looks, and I thought we got a little complacent in our 2-3 (zone defense)," Thurman said. "I mean, we play good for three quarters … but you can’t have a bad fourth quarter and expect to win."
Emily Joseph led the Knights offensively with 15 points, Isa Valenzuela scored nine and Catie Whitehead added eight points, a game-high 12 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
NPCC’s attention now turns to Friday when they’ll hit the road to take on Region IX foe Central Community College.
"Defensively, I like where we’re at right now. We’re holding teams in the 60s, but we just have to be tougher and more sound," Thurman said. "Execution-wise, I think our offense is coming."
Friday’s tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Columbus.
NJC (8-8) 10 15 10 27 — 62
NPCC (8-9) 11 17 11 11 — 50
NJC: Aleksandra Ratnikava 24, Brionna McBride 12, Bailee Hart 11, Taelor Jackson 7, Ciarra Mutshatshi 4, Unique Gainey 2, Ashtyn Delorenzo 2.
NPCC: Emily Joseph 15, Isa Valenzuela 9, Catie Whitehead 8, Janay Brauer 7, Ashley Hassett 6, Viri Escobar 3, Dehje Belmore 2.
Dalton Knecht went 5-of-6 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 20 points to Northeastern Junior College to a 4-point victory over North Platte
NPCC (4-8) began the game with a 19-11 lead, but NJC (11-5) went on a 21-6 run in the final 6:41 of the first half, taking a 44-34 lead at halftime.
The Knights closed the gap to two points three separate times in the second half, but could not get any closer.
Danilo Matovic led NPCC with 17 points, Tim Johnson had 16, Mert Halavurte added 15 and Slavomyr Marchenko had eight points and 10 rebounds.
NPCC is back in action Friday when they host Southeast Community College at 7:30 p.m.
NJC (11-5) 44 31 — 75
NPCC (4-8) 34 37 — 71
NJC: Dalton Knecht 20, Ryan Bagley 10, Andrew Ferrin 10, Jared Adams 7, Rashon Barron 7, Cyler Johnson 6, Quincey Jewett, Sami Logoro 5, Moz Doria 4.
NPCC: Danilo Matovic 17, Tim Johnson 16, Mert Halavurte 15, Slavomyr Marchenko 8, Courtney Murrell 5, Luke Christen 5, DaVonte Tharpe 3, Austin Jensen 2.