NWC Drops A Heartbreaker Against AWC, Blows Out Tohono O-odham
The Northwest College women’s basketball team saw mixed results at the College of Southern Idaho Tournament in Twin Falls, Idaho last week. The Lady Trappers faced off against Arizona Western, losing 58-55, on Friday, Nov. 24, and rebounded Saturday to beat Tohono O’odham Community College, 113-56.
ARIZONA WESTERN 58, NWC 55
“It was a close one, back and forth,” said head coach Janis Beal about the game against Arizona Western.
After the first quarter, NWC trailed by four, 16-12.
“When it comes down to it, those couple possessions in the first quarter were big for us,” Beal said.
In the second quarter, the Lady Trappers cut the Arizona Western lead to only one point to trail 23-22 going into halftime. In the third quarter, both teams scored 14 points to bring the score to 37-36 going into the final quarter of play.
The Lady Matadors then outscored the Lady Trappers by two points in the fourth quarter to win the game, 58-55.
“Those close games — that’s when little things matter that much more,” said Beal.
The coach noted that was similar to what she said the prior week, how every possession mattered in a game against North Idaho College that went into overtime.
The little things were free throws, turnovers and missed shots.
For free throws, the Lady Trappers made 12 out of 20 attempts to shoot 60 percent for the game.
“That, in a close game, hurts you,” said Beal of the eight misses.
Meanwhile, Arizona Western improved from 37.5 percent free throw shooting in the first half to 83.3 percent in the second to shoot 57.1 percent for the game overall at the line.
In the turnover category, the Lady Trappers had 22 compared to the 21 by the Lady Matadors.
Northwest did score more points off of turnovers compared to Arizona Western, 25-21, but fewer turnovers could have changed the outcome of the game.
“They shot the ball well, we didn’t shoot as well, especially from the 3 [point line],” said Beal. “We got to knock down shots when we have them.”
In the second half, Arizona Western sank 66.7 percent of their attempts from 3-point range; NWC shot 25 percent.
Inside the arc, both teams shot relatively the same, ending the game with NWC shooting 37 percent and Arizona Western at 37.5 percent.
Tala Aumua-Tuisavura scored 13 points and had five steals.
Julynne Silva added 12 points and six rebounds — four defensive and two offensive.
Also collecting six boards — four defensive and two offensive — was Dani McManamen.
Another factor in the game was the lack of fouls by the Lady Trappers. Going into the final 30 seconds of the game, NWC had committed zero fouls.
“One of those only times that not having fouls was actually a detriment to us,” Beal said with a slight chuckle, adding, “you don’t see that very often.”
Had the Lady Trappers fouled, the clock could have been stopped, putting a Lady Matador at the free throw line and giving NWC a chance to get the ball back and score some points.
Overall for the game, “Arizona Western is a very good team,” Beal said. “They’ve competed with some of the best teams that are ranked this year and been real close with them, so I think it shows that we are right there with some of the better teams if we can just correct some of those couple little things.”
NWC 113, TOHONO O’ODHAM 56
Facing Tohono O’odham Community College of Sells, Arizona, Beal said her Trappers were the better team and “it was a good thing, because it gave the opportunity for everyone to play.”
All but one player on the NWC bench cracked double-digits in scoring. They included Savanna Savage and Charri McArthur scoring 16 points each, Kaylee Brown with 14, Shelby Wardell at 13 and both Samantha McCrorey and Alexi Payne with 11 apiece.
“The thing of it is, they took an opportunity and played well when they were in, so it was a good opportunity for them to get some minutes,” Beal said of the bench players.
Also scoring in double digits was starter Silva with 10.
“It was fun for everyone to get a chance to play,” said Beal, adding, “It’s tough, ’cause those are games where you don’t get better as a team. We were making some of the same mistakes against a not-as-good team and that’s why we seem to lose the close games, because we aren’t disciplined enough right now to do those little things in games.”
The Lady Trappers shot 47.7 percent from the field, 48 percent at the 3-point line and 70.4 percent from the free throw line.
In rebounds, Silva led with nine. Brown, Savage and Payne each grabbed seven boards off the bench while Tayla Sayer added six. McArthur led the team in steals with four.
Beal said the team’s goal is to be fundamentally sound by the time region play arrives.
Next up for the Lady Trappers is the Big Horn Federal Shootout at home. On Friday, NWC will take on Dawson Community College at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, they’ll tip off against the Rocky Mountain JV at 3 p.m.