Defense Keys Cougars in Win Over #3 Loggers

The #13 ICC women’s basketball team used a solid defensive effort to take down #3 Lincoln Land CC 70-66 in Springfield on Saturday afternoon. Official rebounding & defensive stats were unavailable after the game but the Cougars held the Loggers to just 11 first quarter points and took four charges on the day.  The defense was a total team effort and, on the offensive end, Summer Stoewer (23 points), Ayanna Gibbs (16 points), Camryn Stafford (14 points), and Josi Becker (5 assists) took care of things to help get the win.


End of 1st quarter: ICC 21, LLCC 11

The Cougar defense came out swarming, forcing six Logger turnovers in their first ten possessions, allowing the Cougars to storm out to a 17-4 lead with scores from Stoewer, Stafford, Gibbs, and Maia Marshall. Gibbs took a charge and added two more baskets to keep the lead at double digits.


Halftime: LLCC 34, ICC 31

The Cougar lead melted faster than ice cream on a hot July day as the Loggers found their groove and ICC lost their defensive intensity.  The Loggers scored on their first nine possessions and 12 of their first 13 possessions; meanwhile, the ICC offense stalled. The Cougars managed only 10 points in the quarter on three-pointers by Stoewer and Becker and two Stafford baskets.


End of third: ICC 52, LLCC 48

The Cougars found their groove to start the half as Stoewer nailed two three-pointers (assists Becker & Gibbs), Stafford took a charge, and Courtney Heffren scored inside to help the Cougars grab the lead back at 39-36.  Marshall assisted on Gibbs and Stafford baskets to keep ICC up 43-40, Stoewer nailed her third trey of the quarter after an offensive rebound and assist by Jordyn Hare, and Heffren added two baskets to give ICC a four-point lead heading into the fourth.


Fourth quarter:

Gibbs finished inside to give ICC a 54-48 lead to start the period and Becker took a charge but the Loggers went on an 8-1 run to take a 56-55 lead with 5:15 to play.  The Cougars cranked up the defense, responding with an 8-2 run on scores by Marshall (assist Becker), a Gibbs drive, a Gibbs’ steal which led to a Stoewer layup (assist Becker), and a Gibbs’s floater giving ICC a 63-58 advantage with 2:55 to play.  The Loggers hit two free throws to make it 63-60, and the Cougars had two unfortunate turnovers, giving LLCC the ball back with 1:49 to play.  LLCC got a basket to close to 63-62 and then forced a Cougar miss to get the ball back with :40 seconds and a chance to take the lead.  As the Logger point guard drove to the hoop, Becker stepped in and took her second charge of the quarter with :19 seconds left.  Stoewer was fouled on the in-bounds play and she made the first and missed the second, but the Loggers lost the rebound out of bounds under the Cougar basket, giving ICC the ball back with :15 seconds to play and up by two.  Stoewer and Heffren then went 6-6 from the free throw line to close out the win.


Game goals met (due to not having official stats, we only know these):

Take a charge:  4 (Becker 2, Gibbs, Stafford)

Met turnover goal


Unofficial individual stats:

Becker (5 asts, 3 pts, 3 reb) Hare (5 reb, 1 ast) Ward (3 reb) Stoewer (23 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast) Stafford (14 pts, 5 reb) Marshall (5 pts, 2 asts) Metts (1 ast) Heffren (9 pts, 5 reb) Gibbs (16 pts, 9 reb)


Up next:  The Cougars, now 22-6 overall, 8-1 in Region 24 play, and 8-0 in the MWAC, have two more regular season games next week:  Wednesday at home vs. Lewis & Clark at 5:30 pm and Saturday at John Wood (Quincy) at 1:00 pm.