Cloud County Women Earn 65-43 Home Win Over Life Prep Academy
Playing one final non-conference game to close out their six-game non-conference slate, the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team would overcome a slow start to finish off a 65-43 home victory over Life Preparatory Academy inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Saturday, November 26th.
Finishing their non-conference schedule with a 5-1 mark, Cloud County improved to 8-1 overall on the year in their first meeting all-time with the Flames.
Finding just one bucket in the opening two-plus minutes of action, Cloud County would get a made layup from Te Araroa Sopoaga to break a 2-2 tie before using a Maimouna Sissoko jump shot in the paint and Alize Ruiz layup to go up by an 8-3 margin with 4:43 left in the opening quarter. After a free throw and made layup for Life Prep to pull the Flames within two, things would become tied on a layup with 1:47 left in the period before seeing the T-Birds turn to sophomore Jessi Brummett for four straight points to end the quarter and take a 12-8 lead heading into the second quarter.
With the first 10 minutes of action behind them, the T-Birds would open the second with their first made three of the game coming from Lilly Smith before getting a Sarah Lawless three as the offense for CCCC would finally start to come alive. Pushing their lead to double digits following two free throws from Sopoaga, Cloud County would extend their lead to the high mark of the first half at 26-13 with 5:22 left before halftime. Life Prep would respond with back-to-back made threes to cut the deficit down to seven but would see the T-Birds turn to the charity stripe as the next three points would be scored by CCCC at the free throw line. Managing to keep their lead right on the cusp of double digits, the T-Birds would manage to match the Flames during the final two minutes of the first half by scoring four points to offset the four for Life Prep and hold a 33-25 lead at the half.
Defense by the T-Birds would allow Cloud County to add to their lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter as the Flames would go scoreless throughout the opening 3:45 of the second half while seeing the T-Birds connect on three free throws by Ruiz to go back up double-digits at 36-25. Following a Life Prep field goal, CCCC would respond by scoring eight of the next 10 points to go up 15 before pushing their lead to 17 at 48-31 with just under a minute left in the quarter. Tacking on a Tereia Steward free throw, Cloud County would see their lead sit at 49-31 to end the third period and hold a comfortable margin heading into the fourth.
Maintaining their lead throughout the opening three-plus minutes of the final frame, Cloud County would begin to pour it on midway through the quarter as Smith would connect on her second three of the game and be followed by a Sopoaga layup to turn a 16-point lead into a 21-point T-Bird advantage. The CCCC lead would continue to grow throughout the remainder of the contest, reaching a game-high 24 on a made free throw by Brummett before finishing at a 22-point margin.
Despite matching a season-low in scoring, Cloud County would overcome a 21-of-60 (35.0 percent) effort from the field by turning 14 Life Prep turnovers into 16 points and getting 14 offensive rebounds to score 14 second-chance points. 20 of CCCC's points would come at the charity stripe along with 32 in the paint as the T-Birds would combine to hold a 52-29 advantage in those categories.
A balanced scoring effort would see Ruiz lead CCCC with a 14-point, 14-rebound effort to go along with two assists and two steals while Lawless would score a career-best 13 points off the bench. Six other players would find the scoring column on the day for the T-Birds, including nine points each from Sissoko and Brummett.
A second-straight home game will see Cloud County return to Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play with a 6 PM home game against Seward County on Wednesday, November 30th. The Saints improved to 3-3 overall with a 76-75 come-from-behind home win over Dodge City on Saturday after being down by seven with just 1:21 remaining. The T-Birds will be looking for their first win over Seward since February 6th, 2016 when CCCC came away with a 53-38 home win over the Saints.