4th Quarter Surge Lifts #16 Cougar Ladies Over #20 Parkland
The #16 ICC women’s basketball team used an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter to lift them to a 74-67 victory over #20 Parkland in Champaign on Wednesday night in MWAC action. The game was a boxing match that saw 14 lead changes and 8 ties, but in the end it was the ICC defense that paved the way as they held Parkland to 32% shooting in the 1st, 2nd, & 4th quarters as well as placed five players in double figures to get the win.
End of 1st quarter: Parkland 19, ICC 16
ICC scored on their first three possessions as Ayanna Gibbs, Camryn Stafford, and Summer Stoewer scored, giving ICC a 6-2 lead. Parkland reeled off nine straight points to grab an 11-6 lead, but the Cougars answered with an 8-0 run of their own (baskets by Stoewer, Gibbs, Maia Marshall, & Moriah Ward) to go up 14-13. Parkland only shot 5-16 from the field, but went 9-10 from the free throw line to grab the lead.
Halftime: ICC up 37-32
Josi Becker took matters into her own hands as she scored six early points along with Gibbs and Stafford baskets to put ICC up 28-24 midway through the period. Ward added a baseline jumper and a basket from the block (assists Stoewer) and Catora Brown hit a HUGE three-pointer in the final minute (assist Becker) to give the Cougars a five-point edge heading into recess. The Blue & Gold helped themselves immensely by cutting down on the fouling as PC only managed one free throw in the stanza.
End of 3rd: Parkland up 51-50
Parkland tightened up the defense to start the half to quickly erase their deficit as they went on a 12-2 run to open the 3rd. Two Courtney Heffren scores got ICC back on track, and then Stoewer splashed in a three-pointer (assist Ward) to keep the Cougars close at 46-44. Jordyn Hare finished inside and Stoewer and Becker added four free throws to draw the Cougars to within one.
Ward hit a basket and then assisted on another Stoewer three-ball to get ICC on track. Gibbs snuck lose for two scores (assists Stoewer & Becker) to put ICC up 59-53 and then Gibbs snagged an offensive rebound and found Becker on the wing for an open 15-footer. Stafford posted up for two hoops (assist Heffren) and Becker hit Ward, giving ICC a 67-57 advantage with 3:24 to play. While the offense was nice, it was the Cougar defense that should get the pat on the back as they allowed the Cobras just two free throws in their first ten possessions. Heffren & Becker finished out the game from the free throw line, going 7-8 to help seal the win.
Game goals reached:
Hold opponent under 30% 3-pt shooting (PC was 1-9, 11%)
Charge taken: Gibbs
Shoot FTs 70% or higher (17-21, 81%)
Leading post rebounder: Gibbs (7)
Leading guard rebounder: Heffren (7)
Becker (12 pts, 4 asts, 3 stls, 3 reb) Stoewer (12 pts, 4 asts) Stafford (12 pts, 6 reb) Heffren (9 pts, 7 reb) Gibbs (10 pts, 7 reb) Hare (4 pts) Brown (3 pts) Ward (10 pts, 4 reb) Marshall (2 pts) Metts (2 reb)
Next up: The Cougars are now 16-6 overall, 2-1 in Region 24 play, & 2-0 in the MWAC. They will host #2 Lincoln Land (21-1) on Saturday at 1:00 pm in Ramsey Gym. The team will hold their 2nd annual Stronger Together Survivor Celebration at halftime, where all cancer survivors/those currently fighting/their caregivers will be recognized. Survivors can wear any color for the celebration, although the Cougars will be wearing pink shirts & socks to also spread breast cancer awareness. There will be a limited number of pink “Stronger Together” t-shirts for sale for $10. Live-stream will be available at: https://youtube.com/watch?v=RNZT8BAjkaA
Women’s Basketball Coach
NJCAA DII National Champions: 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006