Harrison leads Spartans to home-opening win | CraigDailyPress.com

Harrison leads Spartans to home-opening win

John Vandelinder

Colorado Northwestern Community College sophomore Lloyd Harrison scores on a breakaway dunk Wednesday against visiting Central Wyoming College. Harrison tallied a game-high 40 points, leading the Spartans to an 87-79 win in their home-opener.

Call it a clean sweep.

The Colorado Northwestern Community College men’s basketball team gave the school a perfect 2-0 opening night sweep of visiting Central Wyoming College on Wednesday.

Hours after the women picked up their first victory of the season, the men followed suit, riding a 40-point effort from sophomore point guard Lloyd Harrison on their way to an 87-79 victory.

A 13-point halftime lead was dwindled to one, before Harrison’s late game heroics sealed the game.

“The guys did a real good job of keeping their composure,” Spartans coach Stephen Garnett said. “That’s the first close game we’ve been in, and we haven’t really had a lot of practice in close-game situations, so I thought the guys did a real good job of holding them off down the stretch.”

With seven minutes remaining in the game, the Rustlers began launching – and making – three point shots, cutting into the host team’s lead.

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Central’s Paul Brotherson tallied seven points in a span of just over two minutes, pulling the visitors within two, 78-76, with two minutes remaining.

Harrison took over from there, draining back-to-back three’s, effectively ending the Rustlers bid at a comeback.

“I mean, I’m really excited for this win,” Harrison said. “I just wanted to come out and lead the team. As the team captain, I have to come out and pick up the slack for the guys. I just kept shooting, and they went in.”

Central proved to have no answer for Harrison, and, in turn, the Spartans.

“I just told the kids to keep shooting the basketball,” Rustlers coach Jamie Stevens said. “We missed some shots, but the guys kept shooting, kept plugging away, and we just about came back and stole it.”

John Gabriel pitched in 18 points for the Spartans, while Brotherson led Central in scoring with 28 points.

The men’s team is off until Tuesday, when the Spartans host Western Wyoming College, while the ladies have a quick turnaround.

The women travel to Sheridan, Wyo., tomorrow, to play in a road tournament.

“We started the home season off just the way we wanted to,” Garnett said. “We can’t let it sit for too long though, we have to get right back at it.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com