Defense Helps Cougars Sink South Sub
The No. 1 ICC women’s basketball team used another strong team effort to down No. 11 South Suburban 68-51 on Wednesday evening in non-conference action at Ramsey Gym.
The Cougars put together a 16-2 run in the middle of the second quarter to break the game open, netting their 24th consecutive win and moving their record to 24-1 overall, while SSC dropped to 20-4. Defense was again key for ICC, as they held their guests to 33 percent shooting (22-65 from the field) and forced 23 turnovers.
The Cougar inside game was working early as Abby Coates hit two free throws, Madison Faulkner scored two baskets (feeds by Marquitta Easley & Emma Henderson) and Jordyn Hare a bucket (assist Kathy Pinnock-Branford), but the Bulldogs kept pace as they twice banked in two three-pointers at the end of the shot clock to take a 10-9 lead. Moriah Ward scored on a put-back and Josi Becker got loose in transition for a layup, but ICC saw a 15-14 deficit after the first period.
Summer Stoewer sparked the game-changing run in the second quarter as she scored on a layup that tied the game at 17-all with 8:37 to play in the quarter. She then intercepted a pass on the wing and went coast-to-coast for the layup and, following a Faulkner offensive board, cashed in on a three-pointer from the left wing to complete a personal 7-0 run in a minute and 37 second span. Emma Henderson drilled a three-pointer from the right wing on the next possession (assist Pinnock-Branford) and then Easley added a layup to give ICC a 27-19 lead. Following two Faulkner freebies, Pinnock-Branford found Henderson for another trey to keep ICC rolling and they took a 38-26 halftime lead into recess.
Easley took matters into her own hands to start the second as she went on a personal 6-0 run to start the half, including two layups on assists by Stoewer and Pinnock-Branford to continue to open up the game at 44-26 just three minutes into the third. The Cougar defense did its part, holding SSC scoreless for the first 5:30 of the period until another banked-in three-pointer helped the Bulldogs scratch the scoring column. By this point, ICC had taken control of the contest, as Ward scored on a nice drop-step move (assist Becker) and Raven Overman added a put-back to give ICC a 50-33 lead heading into the fourth.
Pinnock-Branford hit a baseline jumper (assist Easley) on the first possession and then KPB returned the favor to assist on an Easley score, followed by a fantastic post on the block feed from Stoewer to Coates in transition for an old-fashioned three-point play and a 57-34 lead. Stoewer splashed in another long-range missile (assist KPB) and Ward added two free throws to give ICC their largest lead at 62-38 with 6:55 remaining. Catora Brown scored on an offensive put-back followed by another Overman score in the paint (assist Ariana Washington) to wrap up the scoring for the Cougars.
Becker (5 pts, 3 asts) Hare (4 reb, 2 pts) Faulkner (10 pts, 4 reb) Brown (3 reb, 2 pts) Overman (4 pts, 3 reb) Washington (1 ast) Stoewer (10 pts, 2 asts) Pinnock-Branford (6 asts, 4 reb, 3 pts) Henderson (7 pts, 2 reb) Coates (7 pts, 1 blk) Easley (10 pts, 3 asts)