Cougars close regular season with 26th win

STERLING, Colo. -- A day after scoring 98 points in a win against Lamar Community College, the Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team earned their ninth straight win with a low-scoring 52-43 win over Northeastern Junior College Saturday afternoon in Sterling, Colo.

The win was the Cougars ninth straight. The Cougars also captured the south sub-region title for the second straight year as they enter next week's regional tournament as the No. 1 seed.

WNCC, who improved their record to 26-4, was hooked up in a defensive battle in the first half as neither team was shooting the lights out. WNCC converted on just 22 percent of their shots in the first half compared to 33 percent for the Plainswomen. NJC scored five late buckets to take a 23-18 lead into the locker room.

The second half was a different story for the Cougars, connecting on 50 percent of their shots. Two of the bigger shots in the contest came with about 11 minutes to play when Ally Vasquez and Laurin Rivera connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give WNCC a 33-31 lead. The Cougars went up three, 41-38 moments later on a Shalisa Moffit bucket.

NJC cut the lead to a single point, but Liz Dogan had a big 3-point point to put WNCC up 44-41. After the Plainswomen cut the lead to 45-43, the Cougar defense picked up its intensity and held the Plainswomen scoreless the rest of the way.

On the other hand, Moffit hit a big bucket to put the Cougars up 47-43 and then WNCC sealed the game by hitting five free throws for their 26th win of the season.

Rivera and Moffit led the Cougars in scoring. Rivera put in 16 points with two 3-pointers, two blocked shots, and four steals, while Moffit popped in 12 points and two blocked shots.

A big key in the contest was rebounding, where WNCC out-rebounded NJC 41-32, led by Abi Lujan's eight boards and Ashley Stevens' six.

WNCC will next be in action next weekend when they partake in the regional tournament. The bracket and site of the tournament will be decided this weekend.

WNCC (26-4) 18 34 -- 52

NJC (13-14) 23 20 -- 43


Ally Vasquez 4, Laurin Rivera 16, Shalisa Moffit 12, Angela Vigil 4, Liz Dogan 5, Ashley Stevens 7, Lile Havili 2, Olivia Vogel 2.

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