Edwards & Company Win See-Saw Battle over Wabash

The #9 ICC women’s basketball team nearly hit the century mark as they scored a big win on Wednesday, February 3, outlasting Wabash Valley College 98-89 in a see-saw affair at Ramsey Gym. The Warriors, who are a Division I junior college, were ranked #15 in the NJCAA DI poll coming into the game and had lots of firepower that ICC countered with strong play of their own. And while the Cougars had four players in double figures: Derria Edwards (career-high 27 points), Camryn Stafford (17 points), Sh’coria Metts (career-high 14 points), and Kayla Gordon (career-high 13 points), it was their overall solid team play & depth, strong free-throw shooting (35-44 for 79.5%), and good old-fashioned “grit” that were the deciding factors in this one.

ICC was careless with the ball at the onset leading to an 11-5 deficit until Dayja Evans’s three-pointer (assist Stafford) that helped the Cougars take a 19-18 first-quarter lead. The teams traded buckets most of the second quarter, with the biggest lead by the Warriors at 30-26 but ICC stayed close as Edwards erupted for 13 points in the quarter, hitting all on six of her field goal attempts (including a three-pointer). Kristyn Mitchell and Keijah Gray gave ICC a boost inside as they combined for 8 points in the paint and ICC led 49-48 at the half.

ICC showed better patience to start the half, taking a 50-46 lead on a Courtney Jones layup and Stafford post-up (assists Gordon) and pushed that to 61-53 advantage on an old-fashioned three-point play from Mitchell. Evans connected on another trey (assist Gordon) and Gordon hit a layup (assist Gray) to put ICC up 67-58. But WVC would not go away and roared back, going on a 12-3 run the final 2:52 of the quarter to knot the score at 70-all heading into the final period.

Wabash hit two treys to start the quarter but ICC answered with old-fashioned three-point plays by Edwards and Metts and two free throws from Stafford to go up 79-76 with 6:09 to play. Jones hit Stafford and Gray for scores inside and Edwards finished another old-fashioned three-point play to put ICC up for good at 86-82. Wabash scored to close to within 88-86, but Stafford hit a huge three-pointer from the top of the key (assist Gordon) to give the Blue & Gold some breathing room. ICC clamped down on defense to finish strong while going 7-8 from the charity stripe to close the game. ICC connected on 35-44 from the charity stripe, good for 79.5%.

Final stats: Gordon (13 pts/6 reb/6 asts/4 stl) Jones (3 pts/3 asts/3 reb) McNamee (5 reb/2 pts) Edwards (27 pts/5 reb/2 asts) Stafford (17 pts) Buchanan (5 reb/2 asts) Gray (8 pts/5 reb) Metts (14 pts) Evans (7 pts/2 asts) Mitchell (7 pts/7 reb)

Up next: The Cougars, now 2-0, will host Mineral Area on Friday, Feb. 5 at 3:00 pm.

Other: The ICC women’s athletic teams commemorated the 35th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (Feb. 3) by posting different individual pictures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook of when they first started playing basketball and what they look like now. We are so thankful to be at ICC where the tradition is rich for women’s athletics and are grateful to Title IX pioneer and Hall of Fame coach Lorene Ramsey for all she did to get us where we are today. It’s hard to even imagine girls not being able to play full-court or not having equal gym time, the same uniforms or equipment as boys, etc but we are thankful for those who helped pave the way for us. The life lessons and friendships our players have made by playing sports are life-changing and we are thankful for the opportunity to play the game we love. Go Cougs!