After an even first half, the Pratt Community College Lady Beavers basketball team was outscored 41-26 in the second half to fall to the Crowder (MO) College Lady ‘Riders by an 80-67 count Tuesday night at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.
Hannah Mehl hit back-to-back shots to give PCC the lead, 12-10, at the 16:00 mark. Crowder regained the lead over the next several minutes largely due to Beaver offensive miscues and turnovers. At 4:26 it was 31-25 Crowder.
Ashari Broadwater then hit some tough shots in the lane to spark a PCC rally, and the Lady Beavers had it tied up at 39 apiece with 15 seconds remaining in the half. Lady Beavers head coach Stephanie Thompson drew up an out of bounds play that got Hayli Smith the ball. Smith was hacked and sank two from the charity stripe, sending the Beavers into the break with a 41-39 lead.
The early going in the second half saw the teams trading runs. Crowder opened the half with an 8-0 run, opening up a 47-41 advantage at 17:00. Pratt then came back with a 9-0 run that included put-backs by Tatiana Gant and Samantha Watson and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Broadwater. At 15:00 it was 50-47 PCC.
Over the next three minutes, careless PCC turnovers allowed the Lady ‘Riders to retake the lead at 53-50. It was Pratt’s turn to make a run, but unfortunately the entire team got the cold hand and a run never materialized. Over the next 8 minutes, Crowder hit some shots while Pratt struggled offensively and gradually the Lady ‘Riders stretched their advantage to double digits, 73-62 with 4 minutes to go.
PCC attempted to rally late, but it was not to be and the Crowders closed out the Lady Beavers 80-67.
The difference in the game came from the free throw line. Pratt had a slight edge on the boards, Crowder had a slight edge in turnovers. Field goals and threes were close to even, but Crowder outscored PCC from the line by 8.
“We couldn’t keep them off the free throw line,” Coach Thompson lamented after the game. “In all of our losses, that has been a common theme-we have just fouled too much.”
Another challenge for the Lady Beavers has been offensive inconsistency. “We seem to have scoring droughts in the second half too much of the time,” Thompson commented. “It doesn’t always cost us, but tonight it did.”
Thompson had praise for sophomore Ashari Broadwater, whose aggressive and effective play in the offensive post gave PCC needed lifts at times. “Ashari had the best game of her career for us tonight,” Thompson said. “She’s super athletic and practices hard. She’s just been inconsistent. If we can get her to play every night like she did tonight, she’ll do some good things for us.”
Page 2 of 2 - With the loss, the PCC women fall to 6-3 on the season. They have another home game this week, Thursday night against NW Tech, 6 p.m. at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.
Pratt 41 26 67
Crowder 39 41 80
Grant 8-1-3/6- 22; Pendry 1-1-1/2-6; Smith 4-1-4/5-15; Strobel 1-0-0-2; Watson 1-0-0-2; Broadwater 5-0-4/5-14; Mehl 2-0-0/1-4; Stein 1-0-0/2-2