ROCK SPRINGS – The Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs returned to the court Friday night and held on late to take a double-digit win over Impact Academy, 85-74.
The Mustangs finished their non-conference schedule with an 11-5 record with the Friday night win. After beating Impact by 21 back in November, Friday night’s contest was much closer.
Impact came out of the gate quickly taking an 8-2 lead early with Josh Fearing scoring the only Western points. David Thornton, who finished with 19 on the night, sparked the Mustang offense. Thornton scored four straight and a three-point play by Callum Lawson gave WWCC its first lead of the night, 9-8.
After a 5-0 run by Impact, the Mustangs responded with the next five to even the game at 13. Over the next several minutes, Fearing connected on another three and Lawson scored four but Impact matched to keep it even at 22. It looked as if Impact was going to break away as they jumped out to a seven-point lead but Tyrell Isaacs took over. Issacs hit several key shots including a deep three to pull Western back. Dacian Spotted Elk hit a key three with under a minute left and Fearing added two free throws with four seconds left as the Mustangs went into the locker room with a three-point lead, 40-37.
Issacs continued his hot shooting to start the second half and the Mustangs increased its lead in the first five minutes. Cole Huish hit a three pointer as WWCC jumped up ten, 58-48, at the ten-minute mark in the second. Behind three-point shooting, Impact was able to stay within striking range.
One key for the Mustangs all night was their work on the offensive board. Thornton had several key post buckets off the offensive glass including a conventional three-point play with eight minutes left to put Western up 13, 71-58. Impact made one final run and cut the lead to five with under two minutes remaining. Fearing hit a key jumper and the defense made crucial stops late. The Mustangs were able to hit free throws down the stretch to take the 85-74 win.
WWCC continues three straight at home with its conference opener on Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. They follow it with Little Big Horn on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.