LAJUNTA, Colo. – The 21st-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team won its 13th straight with a dominating performance over Otero Junior College 90-54 in a Region IX South Sub-region contest Friday in LaJunta, Colorado.
The Cougars move to 25-3 on the season and 9-0 in conference play with the win that saw four players hit double digits.
“Today the team played great, especially defensively. We made every shot hard for Otero,” Tishara Morehouse said. “Our defensive stops and made buckets were definitely a big part of our win.”
Morehouse said winning 13 straight after the loss to Casper to open the second semester is giving the team confidence.
“Thirteen straight wins gives us the confidence to know that not many teams can run with us,” the freshman said. “We just know that every game is important, and we play with our hearts in each one.”
WNCC shot 56 percent from the field and connected on 15 3-pointers.
The Cougars defense was just as sparkling, holding Otero to just 20 of 40 shooting. The Rattlers made just 2 of 9 treys.
WNCC forced 15 turnovers and won the rebound battle 30-23. Andrijana Reljic led the way with six boards.
The game was close in the first quarter. WNCC held a 13-6 lead before Otero sliced it to 13-10. The Cougars buried two 3-pointers Morehouse and Taylor Joplin to lead 19-10 after one.
WNCC put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring the Rattlers 26-13 to lead 45-23 at halftime.
The second half was just as dominating for WNCC. WNCC outscored Otero 22-14 in the third and led by 30 after 30 minutes of play, 67-37. WNCC won the fourth quarter 23-17.
WNCC had four players in double figures. Morehouse and Joplin each had 16 points and four 3-pointers to lead the team. Merle Wiehl finished with 15 points with four treys, while R’Manie Pulling had 11 points.
WNCC, 25-3, will close out the regular season on Saturday when they travel to Trinidad State Junior College for an afternoon contest. The Cougars have a chance to go unbeaten in the conference and pick up their 14th straight win. Morehouse said they just need to do what they do best.
“We need to play our game,” she said. “Playing our game has gotten us so far, so continuing to do that will definitely get us win number 26.”
WNCC (25-3) 19 26 22 23 – 90
Otero (14-10) 10 13 14 17 – 54
Merle Wiehl 15, Allysah Boothe 6, Andrijana Reljic 7, Eva Langton 4, Taylor Joplin 16, Tishara Morehouse 16, Kolby Underwood 6, Anyssia Gibbs 2, R’Manie Pulling 11, Yuliyana Valcheva 9.
Grace O’Neil 20, Kait Roycroft 1, McClain Walker 5, Charisse Fairley 1, Zaryn Ibarra-Urbina 4, Angelica Littlehawk 2, Laura Prado-Morales 9, Alessia Capley 12.