Beavers down T-Birds, 63-56
Any momentum the Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds had grabbed in the final minutes of the first half did not carry over into the second.
Trailing by 10 points, the T-Birds limited Pratt Community College to just two points over the final 7:22 of the first half and scored 11 points to pull within a point, 31-30.
Pratt then opened the second half with a 20-8 run to go up 51-38 nine minutes into the second half.
Cloud County could get no closer than seven points after that in suffering a 63-56 Jayhawk Conference loss to the Beavers Saturday afternoon in Bryant Gymnasium.
A second straight loss drops the T-Birds to 8-9 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
Pratt improves to 9-7 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
The Beavers got out to a 7-2 lead in the game.
Iyen Enaruna scored inside, Ty Duin made one of two free throws and Dyelan Reed knocked down a three-point shot to give Cloud County its first lead, 8-7.
There would be seven lead changes over the next seven minutes.
A basket by Sami Sanad gave the T-Birds their final lead of the game,19-18, with 9:57 to play in the first half.
Consecutive threes by Zook Kueth, a basket by Harrison Eghan and then a three by Tommy Thomas gave Pratt a 29-19 cushion with 7:22 remaining in the first half.
The Beavers would manage just two more points in the first half.
Enaruna, who finished with 10 points, scored five straight to pull Cloud County within five points, 29-24.
Eghan drove to the basket and scored, and Pratt led 31-24.
DJ Sims made a three and Enaruna went one of two from the free throw line to pull the T-Birds within two points, 31-28.
Pratt was whistled with a technical foul with just 1.3 seconds left in the first half.
Jay Lewis made both free throws, and Cloud County went into halftime trailing just 31-30.
Pratt reclaimed control of the game early in the second half.
Scoring five straight points in the first 1:40, the Beavers went up 36-30.
Duin drilled a three, and the T-Birds were back within three points, 36-33.
Pratt answered with a three-point play by Julian Eziukwu.
Cloud County made it 39-35 on a jumper by Duin.
Seven straight points by the Beavers pushed the lead to 46-35.
Lewis, who led Cloud County with 13 points, drained a three, and it was 46-38 with 14:04 to play.
Eziukwu scored four straight points and Jamel Horton made one of two free throws to give Pratt a 51-38 advantage.
Cloud County would battle back to within seven points, 55-48, when Akene Agee knocked down a jumper with 4:48 on the clock.
Pratt scored the next six points to put the game out of reach.
Lewis and Enaruna were the only T-Birds to score more than eight points in the game.
Cloud County was just 18 of 56 from the field for 32 percent.
The T-Birds made 14 of 19 free throws for 74 percent.
Eziukwu led the way for Pratt with 13 points.
Horton added 10 points.
The Beavers, who outscored Cloud County 36-18 in the paint, made 23 of 63 field goal attempts for 37 percent and 12 of 19 free throws for 63 percent.
The Beavers missed all 10 three-point attempts in the second, and finished 5 of 26 for 19 percent.
Cloud County plays a second home game in three days when it hosts Butler Community College tonight.