Merle Wiehl celebrated her 20th birthday on Tuesday by scoring 25 points for the Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team in a 110-42 win over the Colorado State Club team at Cougar Palace.
It was WNCC's eighth win of the season and their seventh straight.
Wiehl was just one of five Cougars to score in double figures on the night. Yuliyana Valcheva tossed in 15 points followed by R'Manie Pulling with 14, Tishara Morehouse with 13, and Anyssia Gibbs with 11.
Valcheva, who was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field with one 3-pointer, said this team has plenty of offensive weapons.
"Everybody can score and shoot the ball well," the freshman from Bulgaria said. "We have dribbling skills and we can move the ball well and we find the open shots. We score a lot of 3-pointers and that's why we average over 90 points a game."
It was the Cougars eight game in 10 contests where they have scored over 90 points. The Cougars have hit the century mark in the last three games. WNCC has outscored their opponents 423-193 in the four games at Cougar Palace.
Tuesday night, the game started close as Colorado State Club trailed just 8-4. Leading just 14-6, WNCC went on a 20-0 run to close out the first quarter with a 34-6 lead.
Valcheva said a big reason for the quick start is how well they play together.
"We played together and had a lot of assists," she said. "We reversed the ball well and had wide-open shots. The defense was good, too. We communicated and were constantly changing the defense. We played zone, too. Our energy from the bench and from on the court always helps us."
WNCC went on mini runs in the second quarter, outscoring CSU Club 26-16 to hold a 60-22 lead at the break.
Wiehl scored the first eight points of the second half as the Cougars opened a 70-24 advantage and led 87-30 after the break, scoring the last 14 points of the period.
Defense was a big key in the win. WNCC held CSU Club to 28 percent shooting. The Club team were just 6 of 27 from beyond the arc.
The Cougars also generated 16 steals and six blocked shots. Morehouse and Gibbs each collecting three steals, while Pulling had two blocks.
WNCC shot 55 percent from the field and were 13 of 33 from the 3-point arc. Wiehl buried three treys, while Pulling and Taylor Joplin each had two treys. Nine of the 11 Cougar players made a 3-pointers on the night.
WNCC, 8-2, will next be in action Friday when they travel to face Eastern Wyoming College at Torrington, Wyoming. Action in the men's and women's doubleheader begins at 5:30 p.m. EWC enters the contest at 8-0.
CSU Club 6 16 8 12 – 42
WNCC (8-2) 34 26 27 23 – 110
Hannah Hendricks 2, Rachael Staebell 3, Peyton Pecar 3, McKayla Shaeffer 6, Ashley Ziokowski 6, Anna Schell 4, Sarah Gregory 4, Alexa Wiens 12, Vanessa Vargas.
Tishara Morehouse 13, Merle Wiehl 25, Allysah Boothe 7, Andrijana Reljic 2, Kolby Underwood 7, Anyssia Gibbs 11, R'Manie Pulling 14, Eva Langton 5, Yuliyana Valcheva 15, Taylor Joplin 9, Yaidelis Torres 2.