Stevens leads Cougars to opening night win

COLBY, Kan. – The 15th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team opened the season in impressive fashion with a convincing 68-45 win over Colby Community College in the Colby Classic on Thursday evening.

The Cougars put four players in double figures in capturing the win. Bridgeport's Ashley Stevens led the way with 20 points followed by Laurin Rivera with 13, Lile Havili with 11, and Angela Vigil with 10.

The Cougars led from start to finish as Rivera canned a 3-pointer to open the game. The Cougars then went on a 12-0 run to lead 21-5. WNCC led at halftime 40-15.

WNCC head coach Dave Harnish said his team played well in the first half and then lost focus in the second half.

"The first half we ran our offense and I thought we did a good job of getting the ball inside. We definitely played good defense in the first half giving up just 15 points," he said. "Going on the road and playing a team on their home court, being up by 25 points at halftime definitely helps. Then I was a little disappointed in the second half, especially with the turnovers and we really didn't compete that hard. It was frustrating in the second half that we didn't build the lead or play as well as the first half."

A big key in the first half was the team's inside play as Stevens and Hilie got the majority of their points in the first 20 minutes. Stevens had 14 points at halftime and Havili had eight.

Another big key was the Cougars utilized their height to their advantage. WNCC out-rebounded the Trojans 55-45. Stevens and Abi Lujan each had eight boards, while Havili had seven and Jasmine Davis had six.

The Cougars also shot the ball well in the first half, nailing 50 percent of their shots. The second half the Cougars were just 33 percent. WNCC was also 9 of 16 from the free throw line.

WNCC (1-0) will be back in action Friday when they face the Kansas All-stars at 1 p.m. before wrapping up the Classic at 11 a.m. on Saturday against Phoenix College.

WNCC (1-0) 40 28 – 68

Colby CC 15 30 – 45

Laurin Rivera 13, Shalisa Moffit 6, Abi Lujan 2, Ashley Stevens 20, Liz Dogan 2, Kaylee Biddell 4, Lili Havili 11, Angela Vigil 10.

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