COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Karli Seay poured in 24 points, but it was her 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the No. 25 Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team a 61-58 win over No. 2 (Division II) Johnson County Community College in the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic Saturday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The win moves the Cougars to 4-1 on the season after knocking off two ranked teams over the weekend. WNCC defeated No. 18 Iowa Western Community College on Friday.
"Playing and beating two ranked teams is huge for us," the freshman from Chicago said. "It gives us a lot of confidence as well. Now, we have to stay humble and take care of business."
The win against Division II Johnson County was not easy against a talented team that came in 5-0. Seay said Johnson County is good. Last year, WNCC fell to JCCC at this same classic.
"Johnson County is a really good team," Seay said. "They have a lot of strong players. But I think we stuck with them the whole game."
Early on, Johnson County had the Cougars' number. Johnson County held a 20-15 lead after the first quarter. It was the second quarter that changed the momentum for WNCC. The Cougars outscored JCCC 22-10 to grab a 37-30 lead at halftime.
Even behind, the Cougars never stopped fighting. That was the key in the game.
"The team today played with a high intensity," Seay said. "We came out strong knowing this game would be tough."
The third quarter saw WNCC build a 45-32 lead before JCCC went on a 12-0 run to come within 45-44. Seay hit a bucket to put WNCC back up by three. JCCC tied the game at 47-47 before leading 51-48 after three periods.
The fourth quarter was tight. WNCC held a 58-54 lead late before Johnson County tied the game at 58 with under 30 seconds to play. WNCC worked for the last shot and Seay hit the trey at the buzzer for the win.
The buzzer-beater was her first as a college player, but she said she had plenty in high school.
"In the beginning of the game, I couldn't hit a three," she said. "So, I was kind of down on myself. But I was confident in this one and I'm glad it went in. In high school, I've hit a couple but this one was special because it was my first collegiate buzzer beater."
WNCC shot 37 percent for the game, including 53 percent in the crucial second quarter. Johnson County shot 38 percent for the game, but were just 18 percent in the fourth quarter.
Avery and Giovanna Silva led the team in rebounding with eight boards each followed by seven from Seay.
The Cougars managed just three 3-pointers on the day, one each from Seay, Wiehl, and Melisa Kadic.
Johnson County had three players in double figures. Kylie Woods and Paige Elston each had 13 points followed by Cerena Reeves with 10.
The Cougars will take their 4-1 record into a weekend series of games at Sheridan College when they face Little Big Horn and Sheridan. Seay says they must keep working.
"We still have a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of things that we can easily fix," Seay said. "We have to come out every game strong to win the games next weekend."
WNCC (4-1) 15 22 14 10 – 61
Johnson County (5-1) 20 10 18 10 – 58
Cerena Reeves 10, Paige Elston 13, Ida Piesehl 5, Dachelle Terry 4, Sydney Jones 2, Jaella Brown 2, Kylie Woods 13, Jacionna Stowers 9.