The Chadron State College women’s basketball team won the first and fourth quarters on Wednesday at home against the in-state rival Wildcats, of sister school Wayne State College. However the third quarter went strongly in favor of the visitor as WSC prevailed 84-71 in non-conference play.
“I was proud of our kids,” CSC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Janet Raymer said. “They played hard and did well in many ways. Mainly, Wayne’s fast pace forced us into too many turnovers. However, I think we’re getting closer to being where we want to be.”
The 13-point loss matches the closest result against the former Nebraska College Conference rival in the past two decades, equaling the 70-57 loss in Chadron in fall of 2011.
The Wildcats used a furious 40-minute press to create a turnover deficit of -10. Wayne State did not shoot as well as CSC’s side, but used the possession advantage to attempt 17 more three-pointers, landing five more than the Eagles.
CSC looked to be cruising midway through the first quarter, gaining a 12-5 lead at 6:47 and never trailing in the first 10 minutes of play. It was 5-of-6 shooting at that point.
The Wildcats fought back to gain their first lead at 9:22 in the second period. There was a volley of lead changes, but CSC kept it mostly to a one-score game for the remainder of the period. A free throw by Ashley Gustavson of Wayne in the final 30 seconds made it 42-38 Wildcats.
The third period saw CSC outscored 29-15, effectively proving the difference in the game. Simply put, WSC shot 10-of-14, and 4-of-5 from three, for its best-shooting quarter, while CSC went 4-of-13 overall and 1-for-3 from beyond the arc, for its worst.
The Eagles cranked down on defense in the fourth quarter, holding Wayne to 13 points, but couldn’t hit enough of their shots down the stretch to overcome the deficit.
The Wildcats’ Lauren Zacharias led her team with 17 points and eight rebounds.
The game highs in both categories, however, came from CSC sophomore Ashayla Powers with 20 points, 10 boards. Another big-game performance came from true freshman Allison Olsen with eight points, six rebounds.
CSC is back in action on Thursday night against another in-state foe, Nebraska-Kearney, at 5:30 p.m.