The 24th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team put five players in double figures and led from start to finish in rolling to a 104-58 win over Eastern Wyoming College to give head coach Chad Gibney a perfect birthday present.
R’Manie Pulling, who led all scorers with 23 points including five 3-pointers, said the team was focused and played well.
“We played great as a team and we shared the ball. The ball was going in the basket. It was just a good game,” Pulling said. “We were ready to play and we were focused. We just knew we had to play our hardest.”
Pulling, who also pulled down five rebounds and dished off six assists, said they were really inspired to give Coach Gibney a good birthday present.
“That helped motivate us as well,” Pulling said. “He turned 27 today so we had to go crazy for our coach.”
The game was tied at 3-3 early but soon after WNCC would go on a 19-1 run to lead 22-4 behind 3-pointers by Merle Wiehl and Allysah Booth and an offensive putback from Anyssia Gibbs. WNCC led 36-13 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was close as WNCC out-scored EWC 22-18. WNCC started the quarter on a 12-2 run to lead 48-15 and led 58-31 at halftime.
The Cougars didn’t let up in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 12-0 run behind another Pulling trey and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Boothe for a 70-31 lead. WNCC led 85-43 after 30 minutes of play.
The second half saw the teams trade buckets throughout and Kolby Underwood scored the final five points to put the Cougars over the century mark for the 104-58 win.
WNCC had five players in double figures. Pulling led the way with 23 points followed by Wiehl with 19 points and three treys. Tishara Morehouse tallied 15 poitns while Yuliyana Valcheva had 14 points and Anyssia Gibbs tallied 11 points.
WNCC shot 48 percent from the field and buried 17 3-pointers. The Cougars were 17 of 21 from the free throw line.
EWC shot just 27 percent from the field and made just six 3-pointers.
The Lancers had just one player in double figures as Emily Buchanan had 14 points with two 3-pointers.
The Cougar women will be back in action this weekend when they host Lamar on Friday and Northeastern Junior College on Saturday with a chance to lock up hosting the Region IX tournament with two South Sub-region wins. The Region IX tournament will be played March 7-9.
The Lancers will hit the road on Wednesday to face Casper College in a North Sub-region contest.
EWC (20-6) 13 18 12 15 – 58
WNCC (21-3) 36 22 27 19 – 104
Abril Rexach 7, Ines Salat-Margarit 6, Macie Mackey 1, McKenzie Becker 6, Emily Buchanan 14, Logan Murphy 2, Kelliann Raff 3, Nicole Cutler 5, Barbara Trehub 6, Paula Martinez-Sanz 8.
Tishara Morehouse 15, Merle Wiehl 19, Allysah Boothe 9, Kolby Underwood 5, Anyssia Gibbs 11, R’Manie Pulling 23, Eva Langton 3, Yuliyana Valcheva 14, Yaidelis Torres 5.