NORFOLK, Neb. – Backed by a 25-point performance from sophomore Joel Ufele (London, United Kingdom), the Northeast Community College men's basketball team took down rival Iowa Western Community College 80-72 on Saturday night at the Cox Activities Center in Norfolk.
Ufele made his presence known early on, connecting on 7-of-10 shots from the field. With under 11 minutes to play in the first half, Ufele knocked down back-to-back layups to give the Hawks (13-13, 2-5 ICCAC) a 17-13 lead. Minutes later, Ufele smashed a two-handed backwards dunk to push the Hawks' lead to 21-13.
Iowa Western began to mount a small comeback, but it was short lived after Moses Byekwaso (London, United Kingdom) sank a 3-pointer with 2:56 to play in the half. Northeast took an 11-point lead into halftime after another Ufele dunk and a made free-throw from Byekwaso.
Northeast came out of the break on fire as Emmette Page (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) sank a 3-pointer to get Northeast going. Ufele went right to work, hitting back-to-back layups, putting the Hawks up by 15 points.
Iowa Western came within three points with seven minutes to play, but Page and Ben Moxness (Scribner, Neb.) hit two 3-pointers to five Northeast a nine-point cushion. But, the Reivers didn't go down without a fight, tying the game at 72 apiece with 1:44 to play in regulation.
Daniel Akuei (Melbourne, Australia) pushed the Hawks ahead after a layup, forcing Iowa Western to foul. The Hawks were sent to the free-throw line with under a minute to play and sealed the victory after two made free throws by Page.
Page added 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Hawks. Moxness had 11 points, while Byekwaso tallied 10.
The Hawks take on Southeast Community College in non-conference action at 7 p.m., Wednesday in Beatrice, Neb.
For all news related to Northeast Community College athletics, visit northeasthawks.com for complete coverage. Fans can also follow the Hawks on Twitter @NortheastHawks for game-day coverage.