The Ellsworth Community College men's basketball team tallied another win on the road with a Nov. 10 victory over North Central Missouri Community College, 86-83.
The Panthers were able to come out in the first half and move the ball around for open looks. Defensively they contained North Central's best player and kept the bigs off the boards. The first half saw ECC on top with a big lead of 56-35, capped off with a 3-point buzzer beater by Darius Fuller.
The first half was lead by Myzeah Batie-Gaddy, who had 21 points, and Yach Deng, who had 12 points at the break. As a team the Panthers were able to make 9 first half 3-pointers. ECC finished the first half with only 2 turnovers and held North Central's Terrance Bush Jr. to only seven first half points.
"This was the best complete half of basketball we've played so far in this short season" says ECC Head Basketball Coach Troy Muilenburg.
The second half of the game the Panthers stayed the course for the first 8 minutes, and at the 12-minute mark held a 24-point lead.
North Central's Coach Richmond said after the game, "At that point I just turned them loose and let them get after it." That's when the pressure was turned up and North Central played with much more urgency and intensity on both sides of the court. North Central went on a run to cut ECC's lead to 11 with 8 minutes on the clock following several turnovers by the Panthers on rushed possessions.
The game went back and forth the remainder of the half with North Central inching closer. With a minute to go the Panthers only had a 7-point lead, and at 45 seconds it was down to just 4 points. Unable to hold the lead, the game was tied with 18 seconds to go. Following a time out, the Panthers brought the ball up the floor and got the ball to Batie-Gaddy, who was fouled shooting a baseline jumper with 6 seconds on the clock. At the foul line for 2, Batie-Gaddy made the first and missed the second off the back rim, where it bounced straight back to Batie-Gaddy, who dribbled out some clock and was fouled again with 3 seconds left in the game. Stepping back to the line, he sank both free throws and the Panthers took the win 86-83.
"Myzeah had a great game at both ends of the floor," says Coach Muilenburg. "He played solid defense and secured some big rebounds for us. Offensively, he was able to score inside and out, as well as working the offensive glass for some easy putbacks."
Batie-Gaddy let the Panthers with 36 points and 10 rebounds. Other Panther's that scored in double figures included Deng with 12 and Michael Evans with 10.
The Panthers will remain on the road for the next game, when they travel to Wahpeton, ND, to play in the Baymont Inn Classic. They will play North Dakota State College of Science on Friday, Nov. 13, at 8 pm and Dakota College at Bottineau on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 pm.