Big first half helps lift Cougars past Colby


COLBY, Kan. – The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team held Colby Community College to just five first-half points in racing to a 62-24 win over the Trojans to open up the Ambassador Classic in Colby, Kan., on Thursday.

"The first half we were exceptional on defense only allowing them to five points," WNCC coach Dave Harnish said. "We played pretty good defense and we didn't turn it over that many times. The only thing we didn't do was shoot very well."

The Cougars raced out to a 36-5 halftime lead because of their aggressive defense that resulted in a number of turnovers.

"We started out in the first half and pressed and caused turnovers," Harnish said. "We also controlled the boards. They had us down by out rebounding them 48-43."

The Cougars saw a balanced scoring lineup as everyone scored by Gritt Ryder. Jess Samorodova paced all scorers with 14 points followed by Ashley Stevens with nine points and Idil Ozbayrak with seven points. Stevens also pulled down 10 rebounds on the night.

WNCC also received six points from Lauren Rivera, and five points each from Kelsey Doddridge, Jessica Aratani, and Katie Kerkhoff.

The Cougars, 2-0, will continue play in the Ambassador Classic when they face Colorado Northwestern at 2 p.m. on Friday. Harnish said Colorado Northwestern has plenty of good athletes and his team needs to be ready to play just like they were today against Colby.

"They press and they are pretty athletic," he said. "They are a team that presses a lot and we have to handle the ball a little bit better and control the tempo of the game."

WNCC (2-0) 36 26 – 62

Colby CC 5 19 – 24


Kelsey Doddridge 5, Michelle Brassard 2, Jessica Aratani 5, Lauren Rivera 6, Idil Ozbayrak 7, Jess Samorodova 14, Mikayla Brower 3, Maurissa Ortega 2, Jenna Lindquist 2, Alyssa Yates 2, Ashley Stevens 9, and Katie Kerkhoff 5.

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