CASPER, Wyo. – The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team had some rust in the first game back from a 3-week break, shooting just 28 percent from the field in falling 83-63 to Casper College on Monday in Casper, Wyoming.
WNCC falls to 12-3 on the season and saw its 11-game winning streak snapped.
It was a contest that WNCC made runs all night long, but each time the Cougars made a run the Thunderbirds would answer with a run of their own.
Casper led early 9-2 only to watch WNCC cut the lead to 9-7. Casper responded to go up 16-10 after one quarter.
WNCC cut the lead to a single point in the second quarter at 26-25 on a 3-pointer, but Casper went on a 12-3 run to close out the half and lead 38-28 at the break.
The third quarter was one of WNCC's best 10 minutes. WNCC opened the quarter with 3-pointers by Taylor Joplin and Merle Wiehl and knotted the score at 47-47 on a Tishara Morehouse trey. The two teams were knotted at 50 on a Joplin 3-pointer. The Cougars couldn't get the lead with Casper taking a 57-50 lead and led 57-53 after three quarters.
The final frame was close for the first few minutes with WNCC trailing 63-60. It was at that juncture Casper went on a 9-0 run to lead 72-60 before a Wiehl 3-pointer with 3:20 to play stopped the run. Casper's defense shut out the Cougars the rest of the game for the 20-point win.
Shooting was the difference. WNCC shot 28 percent from the field and was 31 percent (11-of-35) from beyond the arc. The Cougars made just 8 of 11 free throws.
Casper was much more fluid from the field. The Thunderbirds shot 46 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-21). Casper also went to the free throw twice as much as the Cougars, burying 16 of 22 shots.
Another key in the contest was rebounding. The Thunderbirds out-boarded the Cougars 54-43. Casper's Nerea Baena pulled down 20 boards to finish the game with a double-double. Baena also tossed in 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.
Casper had four players in double figures. After Baena, Jaye Johnson tallied 16 points followed by Lucie Hoskova with 13 and Maggie Justinak with 12.
WNCC had two in double figures. Joplin and Wiehl each had 17 points. Wiehl had five 3-pointers while Joplin had three. Wiehl, Joplin, and Eva Langton all had six rebounds to lead the team.
WNCC, 12-3, will look to get back on track this weekend when they host a pair of games. WNCC will host Northeast Community College on Friday at 5:30 p.m. before taking on Otero Junior College at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Region IX South sub-region opener.
WNCC (12-3) 10 18 25 10 – 63
Casper (11-4) 16 22 19 26 – 83
Raquel Ferrer Bernad 5, Nerea Baena 26, Maggie Justinak 12, Jaye Johnson 16, Lucie Hoskova 13, Nazli Bayazit 2, Ashley Tehau 7, Reka Soos 2.