Late rally comes up short, Broncbusters lose to Indy at home
Garden City, KS-Mereville Nkoyock made a strong case for best player in the Jayhawk.
Saturday's box score provided more evidence.
The sophomore poured in 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 40 minutes, Serenity Echols chipped in 18, and Independence held off Garden City, 58-54 at Conestoga Arena. It was the Broncbusters seventh straight loss, dropping them to 10-9 overall and 5-9 in league play.
The Pirates, which bounced back from a 20-point drubbing at the hands of Barton on Wednesday, led for the final 35 minutes of the game ripping off eight straight points to push in front for good after falling behind 5-0 to begin the contest. Nkoyock hit a 3, Echols followed with a long ball, and Nkoyock beat Moultrie for a layup to put the Pirates up by three.
Independence, which improved to 12-8 overall and 6-8 in the conference, led by one after one and was up three at the break. But it was the third quarter where the Pirates created some separation, building a 14-point lead on the heels of 16-5 run that was capped by Sunishka Kartik's layup that made it 43-29 with 3:54 to go.
Greg Franklin's team was down 10 entering the fourth and trailed 49-37 with 8:06 remaining. That's when the Broncbusters made their run, responding with a 14-4 surge to pull within two, 53-51 with 1:59 on the clock.
But Garden City was held to just one field goal the rest of the way, Morane Dossou sank two game-clinching free throws, and the Pirates walked out of Conestoga Arena with their fifth road win of the season.
The Broncbusters shot just 31 percent from the floor and were just 4-of-24 from distance. They missed seven free throws (10-of-17) and turned the ball over 25 times.