Calvin Fugett Jr. scored more points in the last minute-and-a-half of the game than he did in the first 38 1/2, which was symbolic of his team’s problem.
While that was a heroic effort, it could not save the Northwest men’s basketball team from itself as the Trappers’ comeback raced the dwindling time on the clock.
After looking like a team in control in the first half, the Trappers looked like a team in search of itself in the second half.
The 84-77 defeat to Laramie Community College Tuesday night at Cabre Gym stung and coach Brian Erickson’s postgame team lecture lasted longer than Donald Trump’s inaugural address.
There was a lot to talk about in a game that got away following a 40-30 halftime lead while allowing the visitors 54 points in the second half.
The loss left Northwest at 5-4 heading into Thanksgiving.
“The clock wasn’t on our side,” said Fugett, who scored 16 points, 10 of them down the stretch. “I was being more aggressive driving to the basket. I should have done that the whole game.”
Northwest trailed, 73-61, with just over four minutes to play, but cut the lead to 78-75 with 39 seconds to go. The Golden Eagles, who had three players with at least 25 points and were clutch on free throws in the closing two minutes, made one potentially fatal error.
Once the lead was trimmed to three points, Laramie turned the ball over, but as Laukan Taufa cradled it at mid-court, the top part of his body crossed the center line for a violation.
“We had a chance,” Erickson said. “We get the steal and we’re down by three points. The guys on the court were calling for time out. I can’t call time in that situation. We had three guys calling time out and we didn’t get it.”
Lagio Grantssan scored 15 points for Northwest and Luc Lombardy and Umar Jalloah added 11 each.
“We just played 20 minutes,” Lombardy said.