CASPER – The Western Wyoming Mustangs had an 11-point lead midway through the second half but ended up losing on a last second shot to drop their first conference game of the season to Casper College, 68-66.
The Mustangs controlled the entire game and held the Thunderbirds, who average almost 90 points a game to only 68, but came up short in the end. Western only lost the lead once in the first half and took at 31-30 lead at the break.
Coming out of the half, David Thornton and Tyrell Issacs had the Mustangs running. Behind the two, they quickly had extended the lead to eight. Casper came back to cut the lead back to three with five minutes gone in the half.
Dacian Spotted Elk took over at that point hitting every shot he took. He scored 13 straight for Western and extended the Mustang lead to double digits. The T-Birds weathered the storm and came right back at the Mustangs to tie the game at 59 with four minutes to go.
Issacs gave the Mustangs a two-point lead but Casper scored the next four to go up 63-61 with two minutes remaining. It was Spotted Elk again who brought the Mustangs back converting a three-point play to give the Mustangs the one-point lead with 55 seconds.
A Mustang foul led to Casper regaining the lead and it looked bleak as Western threw the ball away with 20 seconds to go. Casper fell asleep on the ensuing play and Thornton took advantage. He stole the ball and finished to give WWCC a 66-65 lead with 15 seconds to go. Casper took the ball and with four seconds left drained a three. The Mustangs had one last look but the shot would fall short as the T-Birds took the win.
The Mustangs face Gillette College at 5 p.m. on Jan. 21 before returning home for two more conference games against Northwest on Jan. 26 at Sheridan on Jan. 28.