Women’s Basketball Extend Win Streak With 78-73 Win Over RVC

Roller coasters are meant for amusement parks in the summer but are not as enjoyable when used to describe the type of play in a basketball game.

However, that analogy perfectly summed up the No. 7 Illinois Central College women’s basketball team’s 78-73 win against Rock Valley College on Wednesday night in Rockford. The Cougars got off to a slow start, then rolled in the middle quarters and held a 23-point lead midway through the fourth, only to let RVC close the game on a 19-3 run to settle for the win.

ICC got good shots, but only converted 22-51 shots in the paint (43 percent), which helped RVC hang in the game. 

The Eagles took an early 11-2 lead but a Josi Becker three-pointer, assisted by Kathy Pinnock-Branford, and a Pinnock-Branford trey, assisted by Becker, got the Cougars on track. ICC converted on only two of 11 shots in the paint in the quarter but did go 7-7 from the free-throw line to trail 21-17 at the end of the first quarter. 

The Cougars made things look easy in the second quarter as they employed a full court press which led to a 9-0 run. Becker hit Marquitta Easley for two layups, then Emma Henderson found Abby Coates inside, followed by a Henderson trey, assisted by Becker, to go up 30-21. RVC broke the run by scoring four points but Henderson splashed in another three, assisted by Easley, giving ICC their biggest lead at 42-26.

Cougar turnovers led to four RVC points in the last minute, allowing them to close the gap to 42-30. 

ICC started the second half going on an 8-0 run. Coates, Rocky Stanley, KPB and Henderson all scored to help the Cougars to a 50-30 lead. The Cougars had empty possessions and let RVC back in the game again, drawing to 52-40. Easley and Coates teamed up to score the next 11 points and ICC was up 63-49 after three. 

The Cougars scored on their first six possessions to go up 75-53 as Stanley, Coates and Madison Faulkner combined for scores until going back into the low part of the roller coaster and the last Eagle run for the final margin. 

Individual stats:

Becker (7 asts, 5 pts, 4 reb) Hare (1 reb) Faulkner (6 pts) Stanley (10 reb, 4 pts) Brown (2 reb) Easley (17 pts, 5 reb) Coates (23 pts—tied career high, 6 reb, 4 asts) Pinnock-Branford (7 pts, 7 reb, 3 asts) Ward (9 reb, 2 pts) Overman (1 reb) 

Up next:

The Cougars, now 7-1, will host Lake Michigan College this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ramsey Gym. The game will be available live-stream at www.icc.edu/athletics.