PCC women beat Garden City 72-49

 It was like someone made a movie of the earlier game between the two squads at Garden City, and then showed the film’s negative Wednesday night at Dennis Lesh Sports Arena. “Everything tonight was just the opposite of the way the game went out at Garden City,” Pratt Community College women’s head coach Stephanie Thompson observed.

That was a good thing if you are a Beaver fan. In January, the Lady ’Busters crushed Pratt by 25. This go-round it was the Lady Beavers who delivered the beatdown, 72-49. Needing a win to keep a leg up in the race for a first-round home play-off game, the Lady Beavers raced out to a 15-0 lead before the Broncbusters knew what had hit them. “Our girls were hungry,” Coach Thompson noted. “They really wanted this one.”

“We jumped on them early,” Thompson continued. “We were prepared and the girls executed the game plan really well.” The game plan included containing Garden on defense, rebounding and being deliberate on offense. “The last thing we wanted was to get into a track meet with Garden,” Thompson explained. “We wanted to get them into a half-court game.”

That’s not to say the Beavers didn’t attack the basket when they got the chance—they outscored GCCC 16-11 on points-off-turnovers. But in general, the Beavers wanted to wear out the shot clock. By working for good looks all night, PCC made 50% of their attempts from the floor.

Another positive was 3-point shooting. At times an Achilles heel for the Lady Beavers this season, they drained six treys on the night— including four from point guard Maddie Pendry who celebrated her birthday by leading PCC in scoring with 22. “Maddie was really good tonight,” Coach Thompson said. “She picked up the slack for us in scoring with Tatiana on the bench.” Grant had a slight injury, and sat out the final 10 minutes with Pratt being so far ahead, so as not to aggravate it. Grant was still able to post 16 points before sitting down.

Pratt outrebounded Garden 44-29, led by Grant and Sherry Calhoun each with 9. Elle Stein added 7 boards. Probably the biggest factor in the margin of victory, at least, was Garden’s incredibly frigid shooting.

By forcing them to score off their offense, and not in transition, PCC took Garden out of their comfort zone— and it showed. At times, the ’Busters didn’t look like they could have scored if the Beavers just LET them shoot. And by playing tough defense, PCC was really making things difficult for GCCC. If you could bottle GCCC’s shooting, it would be the cure for global warming. In the first half, Garden made 25% of their field goal attempts (33% for the night). For the night, they shot a woeful 46% from the free throw line and made ZERO 3-pointers.

Pratt led 21-3 at the first media time-out, and 37-15 at the half. Following intermission, Garden turned up the intensity and started getting a few shots to fall. So by the second half media time-out they had cut exactly….ZERO points off the Beaver advantage. The Beavers could handle everything Garden threw at them, and were still up by 22, 57-35, with 10 minutes to play.

“I was very proud of the girls,” Coach Thompson mentioned. “They executed some new sets tonight that we had just put in. We were able to take Garden out of their game plan.” Over the final minutes, PCC drained the shot clock with every possession. They didn’t always get a decent shot off, but up by 20, it was more important to see the seconds melting away.

With the win, PCC improves to 6-6 (4th place) in the conference and 19-9 overall. They will host Colby Saturday night, a team they defeated earlier in the season. PCCW 37 35 72 Garden 15 34 49 Dedrick 3, Luckett 1, Devlin 7, Tatiana Grant 16, Maddie Pendry 22, Spence 8, Pena 4, Calhoun 4, Stein 8