Women’s Basketball Defeats Lewis & Clark
Walker & Co. Lead Cougars to First Region Win
Krystal Walker’s career-high 22 points gave #19 Illinois Central College a 78-66 win over Lewis & Clark (10-2) on Wednesday evening at Ramsey Gym as ICC earned their first Region 24 win of the season. In this contest, LCCC owned the first and third quarters, and ICC took care of the 2nd and 4th stanzas, making enough plays to earn a hard-fought win.
The Cougars raced out to a 6-2 lead behind two Kellyn Maynard baskets and a layup by Brandi Fier, but LCCC made three straight three-pointers to go up 11-6 at the 5:46 mark. The Cougars tied the game at 15-all on two Jasmine Elliott free throws, but the Trailblazers then went on a 9-0 run to close out the quarter and took a 24-15 lead going into the second quarter.
ICC looked like a completely different squad in the second quarter, picking up their defense and creating scoring opportunities to chip away at their deficit. Sommer Burgard scored inside, followed by two Fier free throws and a Maynard basket to bring ICC to within three at 24-21. Moments later, Fier fired a strike to Walker who was open down the court, and the Zion-Benton freshman made the layup and converted the free throw to bring ICC to within 24-26. The Cougar defense forced Trailblazer turnovers and turned them into scores, two each by Burgard and Bri Henson and one by Serena Meiss to go up 36-32. ICC then closed the half on a 12-2 run over the last three minutes, with four Walker free throws and two Bailey Larsen three-pointers (assists Walker & Fier) to go into recess up 48-34.
The Trailblazers started the second half on a mission, going on a 7-0 run thanks to three Cougar turnovers, and eventually trimmed their deficit to 50-47 halfway through the quarter until Larsen (assist Fier) splashed in a three-pointer to give ICC a little breathing room. Honestly, ICC was lucky there wasn’t more damage done, as they only hit on 3 of 15 shots on the quarter and had seven turnovers but they managed to hold a 56-53 lead heading into the final frame.
Fier and Walker helped ICC take control for good in the fourth quarter, with Fier knocking down two treys and Walker scoring six points of her own to give the Blue and Gold a 69-56 lead with 5:28 to play, and the Cougars maintained that lead to the end, thanks to some solid team defense and closed things out for the win.
Field goal shooting: ICC—26-65 (40%), 3pt 5-17 (29%)
LCCC shooting: 22-64 (34%), 3pt: 8-22 (36%)
Free throws: ICC: 21-33 (64%)—Walker was 10-10!
Turnovers: ICC: 17; Assists: 12
Bench scoring: LCCC 37, ICC 34
Walker 22 pts & 3 reb, Fier 13 pts & 6 asts, Maynard 10 pts & 4 steals, Larsen 10 pts, Henson 8 pts, Burgard 8 pts & 6 reb, Meiss 8 reb & 4 pts, Elliott 4 reb & 3 pts.
Next game: at Danville Area Community College on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 2:00 pm. We will let you know if the game will be livestreamed or not. (By the way, tonight’s game vs. LCCC was supposed to be livestreamed, but there were apparently technical difficulties and we are looking into that).
Other: ICC women’s basketball competes as an independent–not part of a conference–but are members of the NJCAA’s Region 24. The Cougars play every Region 24 team one time in the regular season. The winning team gets points for each region win, and at the end of the regular season, are seeded for the region tourney (held on March 10-12 at Parkland College) based on those points earned. There are 8 teams in Region 24: Danville, ICC, John Wood (Quincy), Lake Land (Mattoon), Lewis & Clark (Godfrey), Lincoln, Lincoln Land (Springfield), and Parkland (Champaign).