Lady Cougars get 25th win of season

The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team's three sophomores Ashley Stevens, Laurin Rivera, and Shalisa Moffit combined for 48 points and the Cougar women rolled to an easy 98-71 win over Lamar Community College in the team's last home regular season game.

It was the Cougars' 25th win of the season and their eighth straight victory. WNCC has one regular season game left, today against Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.

Friday's win, however, was huge for a team that seems to be peaking at the right time. Stevens, who led WNCC with 19 points, said their defensive intensity and ability to break a full-court press was huge against a team that was averaging 90 points a game. The Cougars held Lamar to just 27 first-half points.

"We had to really focus on breaking their press of how chaotic it is during a game," Stevens said. "This was a good win. I think we are playing where we need to be."

What really set the tone of the game, however, was the Cougars ability to break that full-court press with sometimes ease with long outlet passes that resulted in many easy buckets.

"The big key in this win was breaking their press, and to do that it was just looking up the floor," Stevens said. "That was the best way to break their press. We had to avoid their trapping and the weak side was always open."

Stevens said this game was one that they wanted after how they played down at Lamar.

"We rebounded really well and our guards pushed the ball up the floor like they needed to," she said. "The guards just saw the floor and the open players."

The Cougars got plenty of fire power from everyone on the team. The three sophomores finished off their home career with impressive numbers with Stevens had 19 points, Rivera with 16 points and four assists, and Moffit with 13 points, three steals and two blocked shots. Stevens said this being their last home game wasn't a factor, really.

"The way us sophomores played was a good way to go out," the Bridgeport native said. "[With us scoring nearly 50 points] I don't think it was any motivation on us for that to happen. We are just glad that game ended with us top."

Abi Lujan also had a big game, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Angela Vigil collected 10 points. The team also got big rebounding games from Allyson Vasquez with eight rebounds, Kaylee Biddell with seven boards, and Lile Havili with six.

It was also a win that the Cougars opened up midway through the first half. The two teams were slugging it out as WNCC held a slim 15-10 lead 1ith 13:43 to play. That was when the Cougars defensive intensity stepped up as they went on a 10-0 run to lead 25-10. The run was highlighted by five Vigil points.

After Lamar scored five straight to get back to within 10, WNCC went on another 10-0 run behind the play of Lujan, Vasquez and Lyndie Puckett. WNCC cruised to a 45-27 halftime lead.

Lamar opened the second half with a 3-pointer by Celina Quayle, but WNCC went on another 10-0 run to lead 55-30 and later pushed the lead to 30 points at 66-36 behind seven straight points from Stevens. WNCC never looked back after that.

Lamar 27 44 – 71

WNCC 45 53 – 98

LAMAR

Janey Truitt 5, Gabriela Jimenez 9, Ariel Rosa 4, Allison Gordon 7, Alicia Gallagher 5, Kimi Roth 4, Marquee Strong 2, Ellie Stevens 20, Celina Quayle 7, Khadijah Vigil 8.

WNCC

Allyson Vasquez 5, Laurin Rivera 16, Shalisa Moffit 13, Lyndie Puckett 1, Abi Lujan 15, Angela Vigil 10, Liz Dogan 7, Ashley Stevens 19, Kaylee Biddell 6, Lile Havili 3, Olivia Vogel 3.

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