STERLING, Colo. – The 9th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team buried 13 3-pointers and captured its 14th straight win with an 85-77 win over Northeastern Junior College in a Region IX South sub-region contest Friday in Sterling, Colorado.
WNCC moves to 16-1 overall as they go 1-0 in conference play.
Taylor Joplin, who finished with five 3-pointers, said they hit shots, which was vital in the team’s first game back after a 3-week break over the holidays.
“For the first game back, we knew we were going to make some mistakes,” the sophomore from Kansas said. “But we made shots tonight and that is what we needed.”
Three-point shooting was the difference as the Cougars buried 13 treys for 39 points while NJC made just five for 15 points.
The win was a good start to the conference season in a bid for the top seed from the South. Joplin said it was a good start to the second semester.
“[It was good] to get back to playing and do what we do and start off 1-0 after the break,” she said.
The first quarter was key for the Cougars. NJC led 3-0 early, which was their only lead of the contest. After that, Tishara Morehouse buried two threes to push the Cougar lead to 12-5. Joplin got hot behind the arc late in the first quarter, burying four straight treys to give the Cougars a 31-20 lead.
WNCC pushed the lead to 39-30 in the second quarter before NJC sliced the lead to 39-34. WNCC responded behind back-to-back buckets by R’Manie Pulling for a 45-36 lead at halftime.
Both teams traded buckets in the third quarter as WNCC outscored NJC 21-19 for a 65-55 lead after three periods.
NJC came back and outscored WNCC 22-20 in the fourth, but WNCC build a double-digit lead and kept it near double digits the rest of the way.
WNCC had four players in double digits. Tishara Morehouse led the way with 28 points followed by Joplin with 16, Yuliyana Valcheva with 14, and Pulling with 11.
WNCC, 16-1, will look to go 2-o in conference play when they host McCook Community College on Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Joplin said they just need to keep playing hard.
“We need to keep doing what we do and that starts off in practice,” she said. “We are a pretty quick team and really good at defending so we just need to keep defending, rebounding, and running. We haven’t talked much about McCook. We take it one game at a time but the biggest key in every game is defend, rebound, and run.”
WNCC (16-1) 31 14 21 20 – 85
NJC (7-8) 20 16 19 22 – 77
Tishara Morehouse 28, Yuliyana Valcheva 14, Zarrea Coleman 2, Maddie Campbell 2, R’Manie Pulling 11, Taylor Joplin 16, Dezmonea Duplessis 4, Lidsey Mahoukou 8