Feb. 18, 2019, Sterling, Colo. — College athletics are unique because at any given time, any team can defeat the other despite how the teams are ranked. The Western Nebraska Cougars are currently ranked first in the Region IX south and the Plainsmen are ranked fifth. If the Plainsmen defeated the Cougars, they could move up in rankings which would allow them to host the first round game. Regardless of rankings, Northeastern knew they had what it took to beat the Cougars at their place.
The game began and Northeastern locked down defensively and took the lead. The Plainsmen knocked down shots and kept the Cougars at bay to lead 35-32 at half. The Plainsmen played well and continued to stay on top of the Cougars throughout the majority of the second half. At the six minute mark however, the Plainsmen's shooting got cold and could not get the lid off the rim. The team had great looks, but everything they shot rattled around and bounced out. This cold spell allowed the Cougars to take the lead and made Northeastern claw back. The Plainsmen continued to battle but could not find their rhythm and eventually fell 82-70 to the Cougars.
Northeastern will have a few days to recoup before heading to Trinidad to play the Trojans on Friday, Feb. 22.