WNCC women beat ranked Casper on the road

WNCC women beat ranked Casper on the road
(WNCC Sports Information)
November 29th, 2021 | WNCC Sports Information

CASPER, Wyo. – In a battle of top 20 ranked teams, the 13th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team gave head coach Chad Gibney his first win over Casper College on the road in the Thanksgiving Classic at Casper, Wyoming, as the Lady Cougars held on to defeat the 19th-ranked Lady T-birds 70-59 on Saturday.

The win pushes the Cougars to 8-1 on the season and drops Casper to 6-3. The last win by the Cougars against Casper on the road was November 2016.

Gibney said the third quarter was key for his team to get the win, where WNCC outscored Casper 28-18, including a 12-4 run in the final five minutes of the quarte for that separation.

“We went on a little run on there in the third,” Gibney said. “That was good because we were able to create some separation there because in the fourth we got a little bit stagnant. We only scored nine points in a quarter. That third quarter was big for us.”

It was a battle between the two ranked teams. WNCC held a slim 8-7 lead in the first quarter until the Cougars went on a 5-0 run behind buckets by Aminata Zie and Ashley Panem. Casper took a 17-15 lead late, but Ale’Jah Douglas got a steal and scored on a driving lay-up with 20 seconds to play to knot the score at 17-17 after one period.

The second quarter was just as close. WNCC took a 25-19 lead on a Shanti Henry 3-pointer only to watch Casper tie the game at 26-26 on a 3-pointer of their own. WNCC answered with a bucket by Martrice Brooks only to see the T-Birds take a 30-28 lead on four free throws.

WNCC retook the lead on another Henry trey. Casper regained the lead on two more free throws before Amani Brown put WNCC up 33-32 with a bucket to end the first half with the Cougars up.

The early part of the third quarter was close. WNCC led 49-46 before going on a 12-4 run to lead 61-50 after three. The big run saw Brooks score four straight for a 53-46 lead and then Payton Fields had a 3-pointer and followed by an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 59-48 lead. WNCC closed out the third with two Brown free throws.

The final 10 minutes saw both teams score nine points. Casper opened the fourth with a trey only to watch WNCC score four straight for a 65-53. The defenses played tough eliminating buckets. Casper sliced the lead to 67-59, but a big 3-pointer by Henry with 19.8 seconds to play sealed the win for the Cougars.

WNCC shot 47 percent from the field and 33 percent (8-of-24) from beyond the arc. Casper was 34 percent from the field and 33 percent (6-of-18) from the 3-point arc.

WNCC also won the rebound battle 42-35. Brooks had six rebounds while Zie had five.

WNCC had just one in double figures as Douglas finished with 17 points. Henry and Brooks each finished with nine points. Henry’s had three 3-pointers. Brown and Fields each had eight points.

WNCC, 8-1, will have a week off before they play again in the Border War Classic in Gillette, Wyoming, where they will face teams from Region 13 in Williston State College on Saturday and Miles Community College on Sunday.

“We need a little bit of time off,” Gibney said as they prepare for next weekend’s contests. “I think we played eight games in the last 16 days and five in the last seven so I think a day or two off will  do everybody a lot of good; not only for the bodies but also the mindset.”

WNCC (8-1)         17 16 28 9 – 70

Casper (6-3)        17 15 18 9 – 59

WNCC

Ale’Jah Douglas 17, Amani Brown 8, Aminata Zie 7, Shanti Henry 9, Payton Fields 8, Martrice Brooks 9, Ashley Panem 5, Shayane Poirot 5, Isabelle Cook 2.

CASPER

Celina Arnlund 6, Kate Robertson 8, Joseana Vaz 12, Julia Palomo 5, Joslin Igo 14, Dejaan Schuler 5, Belen Morales-Lopez 9

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