Strong Defense Key in Cougars Win
The No. 1 ICC women’s basketball team used a staunch defensive effort to defeat Parkland College 59-45 in Champaign on Wednesday night.
The Cougars limited Parkland to 31 percent shooting, including 1-15 from 3-point range, and forced 23 turnovers, while on the offensive side, Madison Faulkner scored 13 points, Marquitta Easley added 11 points, and Kathy Pinnock-Branford dished out five assists. ICC moves to 28-1 overall and 9-0 in MWAC play, while Parkland falls to 15-13 overall and 3-6 in MWAC action.
The Cougars grabbed the lead from the start as Abby Coates tipped the jump ball to Summer Stoewer who hit Marquitta Easley for a layup.
Kathy Pinnock-Branford delivered two assists as she found Stoewer for a 3-pointer and then Coates inside to give ICC a 7-2 lead. Coates, Faulkner and Jordyn Hare combined for scores to put ICC up 15-6 and then a Josi Becker layup just before the buzzer gave ICC a 17-9 lead after the first quarter.
Faulkner nailed a 3 at the top of the key and scored inside, assisted by Hare, to put the Blue & Gold up 22-9. Emma Henderson bagged a trey of her own, assisted by Easley, as the Cougars took a 25-11 lead with four minutes to play in the second, but ICC went cold and managed only a transition basket by Hare, assisted by Stoewer, the rest of the way which allowed Parkland to close the half on an 11-2 run, cutting the ICC lead to 27-22.
The Cougars started attacking the basket early in the second half and netted five free throws, followed by an Easley 3-pointer as the Cougars opened up a 35-26 advantage. Easley scored on a layup in transition, Faulkner finished a tough basket inside, and Stoewer hit Henderson for a 3-pointer at the top of the key on a set play to keep ICC rolling. The Cougar defense forced three straight Cobra turnovers on the defensive end while Coates scored on a Becker assist and Stoewer on a runner to stretch the lead 49-34 after three quarters.
Easley started off the quarter with two free throws and Hare scored on a basket in the paint, assisted by Becker, but the highlight of the quarter was the ICC defense as they limited Parkland to just 11 points in the quarter on 28 percent shooting. Easley scored on a runner, Faulkner added a basket, and Pinnock-Branford two free throws to round out the scoring for the final margin.
Faulkner (13 pts, 4 reb, 1 chg taken) Easley (11 pts, 6 reb, 2 asts) Stoewer (9 pts, 6 reb, 3 asts) Coates (8 pts, 3 stls) Henderson (6 pts, 5 reb) Hare (6 pts, 3 stls, 2 reb) Pinnock-Branford (5 asts, 4 pts) Becker (2 pts, 2 asts, 2 reb)
The Cougars will play their last regular season game this Saturday, March 2 as they host #5 Lincoln Land at 1:00 pm in Ramsey Gym, with the men’s game following at 3:00 pm. Live-stream will be available at icc.edu/athletics. These other special events will be happening: