The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team overcame a slow start and then picked it up in the final three quarters to register an 82-55 win over Eastern Wyoming College Tuesday night at Cougar Palace.
The Cougars put four players in double figures in the win led by 16 points from Jayla Owen, including four 3-pointers, to register their fourth win of the season.
WNCC also received 23 points each from Bre Fowler and Ola Duda and 10 points from Faith Walker. Walker also had a double-double as she tallied 11 rebounds in the win.
The Lancers had just one player in double figures as Ines Gnahore had a double-double of 19 points and 18 rebounds in the defeat.
WNCC sophomore Yara Garcia, who had a big 4-point play where she was fouled after nailing a 3-pointer, said the difference between the Cougars slow start in the first quarter and the rest of the game was just playing together.
“The difference between the first quarter to the last three is we were able to play together and find momentum through that,” Garcia said.
The Lancers came into the game 0-6 but the way they started it was like they were 6-0 as EWC controlled the Cougars in the first six minutes of the game, running to a 10-1 lead in the first five minutes behind buckets by Amanda Sene da Cruz, Gnahore, and Tamar Kopilevich.
The Cougars didn’t get their first field goal until with 2:31 left in the first quarter on a bucket by Emmie Persson-Bandh. EWC led 12-11 after one quarter.
WNCC took their first lead of the game on Garcia’s 4-point play to open the second quarter for a 15-12 lead where she buried a 3-pointer and sank the free throw. EWC came right back to grab a 16-15 lead on a bucket by Gnahore. WNCC retook the lead after Garcia buried another 3-pointer with 6:33 to play.
EWC kept playing strong as they led 24-23 on a bucket by Andrea Gutierrez Ciordia. WNCC went on a 5-0 run to lead 28-24 and went on to lead at halftime 33-29.
The third quarter was all WNCC as the Cougars outscored EWC 25-11, including scoring the first nine points as Duda had three points and Shiho Isono capped off the run with a steal and bucket to lead 42-29. WNCC led 58-40 after three periods.
The fourth quarter was back and forth as WNCC led 61-42 on two Fowler free throws and pushed the lead to 65-49 on two charity tosses from Mackenzie Joseph. WNCC closed out the fourth quarter as Owen nailed back-to-back 3-pointers with about two minutes to play for a 75-54 lead and then Fowler nailed a trey as WNC won 82-55.
The Cougars shot 36 percent from the field and were just 30% from beyond the arc, nailing eight 3-pointers. Owen had four treys while Garcia had two.
EWC shot 33% from the field and were just 12 percent from beyond the arc with two 3-pointers.
WNCC also won the rebound battle 52-42 as Walker had 11, Duda had nine, and Garcia had six.
WNCC, 4-3, will be back in action Friday and Saturday when they head to McCook for the McCook Thanksgiving Classic. The Cougars will play Fort Scott Community College on Friday and New Mexico Junior College on Saturday.
Garcia said they have to just keep getting better each game.
“We have to take it one game at a time,” Garcia said. “I look forward to improving with my team and continuing on getting better and trusting each other.”
EWC will be back in action Thanksgiving day when they compete in a Thanksgiving Classic at Salt Lake Community College beginning Thursday.
EWC 12 17 11 15 – 55
WNCC 11 22 25 24 – 82
Ines Gnahore 19, Andrea Gutierrez Ciordia 8, Tamar Kopilevich 6, Amanda Sene da Cruz 4, Sierra Allen 4, Vanessa Marinova 4, Neylan Vila Dellicado 3, Darija Erakovic 3, Avery West 2, Tatyana Yarrell 2.
Jayla Owen 16, Bre Fowler 12, Ola Duda 12, Faith Walker 10, Mia Jaye Sarkodee-Adoo 9, Yara Garcia 7, Shiho Isono 7, Mackenzie Joseph 7, Emmie Persson-Bandh 2.