COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The No. 11 Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team out-scored Iowa Western Community College 45-29 in the second half to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit to earn a 72-66 win over the Reivers Friday in the Thanksgiving Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The win moves the Cougars to 8-1 on the season as they face Mineral Area Community College on Saturday. Mineral Area received votes in this week’s national poll.
WNCC head coach Chad Gibney was proud of his team for the win.
“It was a hard fought contest where we made just enough plays,” Gibney said. “We had players step up and it was a true team victory.”
WNCC led 11-9 after one quarter before the Reivers outscored the Cougars 28-16 in the second quarter for a 37-27 lead.
The second half belonged to the Cougars as they came back to outscore Iowa Western 24-15 in the third period to trail 52-51 after three periods. The Cougars kept plugging away and took a lead 56-54 on an R’Manie Pulling 3-point bucket a minute into the fourth quarter.
WNCC widened the lead to 59-54 after a Yuliyana Valcheva bucket with 7:12 to play. The Cougar defense held Iowa Western scoreless without a field goal for nearly four minutes and led 62-57 with 5:36 to play. WNCC pushed the lead to nine points on two Taylor Joplin free throws with 2:01 to play and never looked back.
WNCC shot 34 percent from the field and was just 5 of 23 from the 3-point arc. The Cougars were 21 of 32 from the Charity stripe as Tishara Morehouse was 9 of 13.
The Cougars had three players finish in double figures. Morehouse had a double-double of 10 rebounds and 21 points. Lidsey Mahoukou tallied 16 points, while Joplin had 12 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the free throw line.
The WNCC defense held Iowa Western to 32 percent shooting and the Reivers were 7 of 24 from beyond the arc and 21 of 36 from the free throw line.
WNCC (8-1) 11 16 24 21 – 72
Iowa Western (4-6) 9 28 15 14 – 66
Tishara Morehouse 21, Yuliyana Valcheva 7, R’Manie Pulling 5, Taylor Joplin 12, Lidsey Mahoukou 16, Zarrea Coleman 2, Georgia Berry 2, Dezmonea Antwine 5, Maddy Campbell 2.
Jaiden Morris 14, Bella Sparaco 2, Sommer Blakemore 14, Nyah Morris-Nelson 12, Solape Amusan 15, Hayley Berfield 4, Briana Baker-Bruce 3, Dustin Oban 2.