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December 15, 2016 by Bob Ludwig

Rustlers beat defending national champion SLCC

team photo of the 2016-17 CWC men's basketball team

The Rustler men’s basketball team upset the number four ranked defending national champion, Salt Lake Community College Bruins, 86-69 on Tuesday in a contest in which they never trailed from the opening possession. The victory marks four straight wins for the team heading into their Christmas break.

Tonight is a huge win for us. For our team to go on the road and beat a ranked opponent in itself would be big, but this one comes at a great time. A win going into Christmas break can hopefully give us good momentum going into the second semester. Obviously we have to keep doing the right things and working hard but we have shown that we have a lot of potential on this team. ”

Jack Nelson, head coach

The Rustlers were led by duo Irshaad Hunte and Nick Brannon. Despite battling foul trouble, Hunte scored 28 points shooting 11 of 16, while also snatching seven rebounds and blocking three shots. Brannon scored 23 points shooting eight of 12, picking up eight rebounds, two steals and an assist. To go along with a tremendous defensive performance, Chris Quayle chipped in 10 points shooting four of eight to go along with five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Colter Galante and Devon Colley also chipped in eight points each. Colley had six assists while Galante had three.

Despite a great shooting night, the Rustlers leaned on their defense to control the pace against a talented Bruins team that was previously undefeated on the season. As a team, they shot an impressive 56 percent from the floor, compared to the Bruins’ 39 percent. The win snapped the Bruins’ 19-game winning streak dating back to last season’s national championship run.

The Rustlers are now 7-5 for the season and will return to action after Christmas break for a home game against Eastern Wyoming College on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Tip-off is set for 5:30pm.