Just when it looked like things had gotten out of hand for the Southwestern Community College women’s basketball team against NIACC here Wednesday, things started clicking for the Spartans.
Midway through the second half, NIACC freshman Allysa Meyer knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Trojans up 50-26.
And though the Spartans lost the game, they finished the game on a 16-5 run, playing aggressively while attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line.
Interim head coach Steve Tussey was impressed with his team’s play down the stretch, especially considering the Spartans were running an offensive set that had just been installed two days prior.
“We put in a spread, kind of cutter offense two days ago to kind of spread the floor and get some cuts, some backdoor cuts and get some spacing for some drives,” Tussey said. “We were getting that cut from the weak side and we were also getting some drives off of it, so they did a good job working that off of two days.”
The Spartans shot 11-of-13 from the free throw line in the second half, with most of those attempts coming from drawing fouls while attacking the basket.
Freshman Kourtni Stumpf of Johnston scored six points in the second half, and freshman Morgan Knorr of Savannah, Mo., scored all six of her points in the second half.
Freshman Taylor Zimmerman of Maysville, Mo., shot 4-of-4 from the foul line to score all four of her points in the second half.
Stumpf and Darian Polson led the Spartans with 11 points each.
Southwestern cut NIACC’s lead to 55-42 with 3:55 left, before the final margin ended up being 56-44.
“We had them worried,” Tussey said. “They called that timeout with three minutes left, we were down 12. I told the girls at that timeout, ‘they’re calling timeout because you’ve cut it to 12 with three minutes to go.’”
Playing without primary ballhandler Jamee Miner, who is out for the remainder of the season after having shoulder surgery, the Spartans handled NIACC’s fullcourt pressure well early on, trailing just 15-11 early.
But, several quick turnovers led to a 9-0 burst for the Trojans, who closed the half on an 18-8 run in total, leading 33-19.
“They were pressing us and were handling it for awhile, and then we had a couple of unforced turnovers,” Tussey said. “You just can’t have unforced turnovers and stay within single digits of people who are good.”
Despite the loss, which dropped Southwestern to 0-27 overall and 0-13 in the ICCAC, Tussey was encouraged by what he saw.
“Defense, we played man-to-man all night. We were fronting the post, help side, talking,” he said. “We gave up some drives the first half, kind of bailed some guys out. Overall, I was very pleased with our man-to-man defense for most of the night. I’d say that’s one of the most complete games we’ve had in the past couple of weeks.”
Southwestern hosts Marshalltown on Saturday. Marshalltown won the first meeting between the two teams in a game that was a one possession game until Southwestern was forced to foul in the final minute.
Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.
NIACC (56) — Lateeka Thompson 6 5-8 17, Jessica Rogers 1 7-9 10, Lesahe Brooks 2 2-4 6, Chelsey Jacox 1 4-5 6, Allysa Meyer 2 0-0 5, Emily Bell 1 3-4 5, Taylor Bianchi 1 1-2 4, Kadejah Young 1 0-0 3. Totals — 15 22-32 56. Team fouls — 19. Fouled out — Rogers.
SOUTHWESTERN (44) — Kourtni Stumpf 4 3-5 11, Darian Polson 4 3-5 11, Miranda Williams 3 2-3 8, Morgan Knorr 2 2-2 6, Kaley Folkerts 2 0-0 4, Taylor Zimmerman 0 4-5 4. Totals — 15 14-20 44. Team fouls — 22. Fouled out — Zimmerman.
NIACC — 33 56
SWCC — 19 24