RIVERTON – The Eastern Wyoming College Lady Lancers extended their winning streak to six games after picking up two high-scoring victories over the weekend in a tournament hosted by Central Wyoming College.
“Both games were pretty tight at halftime,” coach Tom Anderson said. “Our third quarter of both games we turned up our defensive intensity, got some stops and got some transition points.”
The Lady Lancers started the weekend with a game against Western Wyoming Community College on Friday. EWC rushed out to a 25-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Lady Mustangs had a solid second quarter to hold a 42-40 lead over the Lady Lancers.
“At halftime, you make some minor adjustment and you remind your team every possession matters,” Anderson said.
Down two coming back to the floor, EWC put the pedal to the metal, outscoring WWCC 27-7 in the third quarter and expanding on their lead in the fourth quarter, sealing the 94-64 win.
Lauren O’Connell led the way for the Lady Lancers with 21 points on the night, including nine points from behind the arc and three from the charity stripe. She also had two offensive boards, an assist and a steal. Ines Salat Margarit came in just behind O’Connell in the scoring department, piling up 19 points in the win, along with six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Abril Rexach Roure contributed 16 points, five boards, three steals and a team-high six assists.
Pamela Bethel again recorded a double-double, leading the Lady Lancers with 12 rebounds, while chipping in 10 points, two assists, three steals and a block.
Macie Mackey was the fifth starter, chipping in three points, four boards, five assists and a block.
Southeast alum Emily Buchanan put up the biggest contribution off the bench, playing 20 minutes and tallying 12 points, five boards, four assists and a steal. Nicole Cutler also came off the bench to chip in six points and two rebounds.
As a team, the Lady Lancers drained 47 percent of their shots from the floor, including 37 percent from three-point land. Despite outshooting its opponents, EWC was outrebounded 45-44.
“We shot the ball really well from behind the three-point line,” Anderson said. “We also got a lot of layups from transition. Scoring is a big plus for us.”
EWC 96, CWC 75
The Lady Lancers dominated the boards in their second game of the weekend, racking up 45 rebounds Saturday, compared to Central Wyoming College’s 37.
Despite winning the battle on the boards, EWC did not come out of the gates as hot as they did Friday, falling behind 19-18 by the conclusion of the first quarter. The Lady Lancers righted the ship in the second quarter, outscoring CWC 28-20 to take a 46-39 lead at intermission.
EWC picked up where it left off in the second half, putting up 21 points in the third quarter and 29 in the fourth, while holding the Lady Rustlers to 15 and 21. The seven-point advantage in the fourth quarter aided the Lady Lancers on their way to sealing the 96-75 win.
For the second time in as many games, Bethel notched another double-double, amassing 15 points, 15 rebounds, an assist, three steals and two blocks.
Rexach took over the leading scorer role Saturday, pouring in 22 points. She had a double-double of her own with 10 assists, which she paired with five boards and three steals. O’Connell was just behind Rexach in scoring with 21 points in the win, with 12 of her points coming on her 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Margarit was the final Lady Lancer in double-figures, chipping in 14 points, along with two rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“We are pretty balanced scoring,” Anderson said. “We have 4-5 girls who could score 20 a night for us if they need to.”
Mackey, the fifth starter, was second on the team in boards, with eight rebounds, while contributing six points, three assists and two steals.
Coming off the bench, Cutler poured in eight points, while Cathlyn Knutson kicked in another six. The duo also accounted for four boards on the night.
With six-straight wins, the Lady Lancers sit with an 8-4 record.
“Each game has been different. We have won in a variety of ways against different opponents,” Anderson said of the winning streak. “What it boils down to, is us focusing on our game, both offensively and defensively.”
They have two games remaining this calendar year, starting with a road game Saturday against Western Nebraska Community College at 5:30 p.m. EWC returns to the road Tuesday for their final game of 2017 to take on Casper College at 5:30 p.m.
“They’re a big, strong, athletic team,” Anderson said of the rival Lady Cougars. “Hopefully, we can continue to raise our level of play and see where we stack up. We’re going to have to play our best basketball and hopefully we can continue to do that.”