WAUWATOSA, WI (December 9, 2018) - After a dissapointing performance at the 2017 North Dakatoa State College of Science Classic last season, the Bryant & Stratton College women's basketball team traveled back to Wahpeton, ND for the 2018 NDSCS Classic this weekend where they suffered a loss to the host, NDSCS, 85-47 on Friday and redeemed themselves Saturday winning 75-73 against Dakota College at Bottineau. The split puts the Bobcats at 6-4 overall on the season.
Last season Bryant & Stratton lost both games at the classic 71-36 to Northeast Community College and 96-60 to NDSCS.
GAME ONE (December 7 - vs NDSCS)
Looking for revenge from the prior season, the Bobcats remained competitive throughout the first quarter trailing just 16-14 heading into quarter number two.
However, from the start of the second quarter, it was all NDSCS as they jumped out to a 38-21 lead going into halftime.
"I thought our energy was great starting the game," Bobcats head coach Jeff Lorenz said. "In the second quarter we struggled putting the ball in the basket which allowed them to jump out to a significant lead."
The Bobcats scored just seven points in the second quarter to the oppositions 22 points.
Starting the second half, NDSCS continued to pile on the points as they extended their lead to 29 (62-33).
"You always have to give the other team credit for executing," Lorenz said. "They did a great job of making it tough on us to get out in transition as well as getting stops defensively."
Throughout the final period, the deficit continued to expand and the Bobcats saw their first game of the classic slip away.
It was a season-low shooting percentage for the Bobcats as they shot just 21% from the field and 12% from long distance.
"North Dakota State College of Science is a good team and this helps the girls understand how well we need to play to acheive our goal," Lorenz said. "We will learn from this and use it to get better."
The 47 total points scored by the Bobcats marks as the lowest amount of points they have scored all season.
GAME TWO (December 8 - vs North Dakota at Bottineau)
In game two of the classic, Bryant & Stratton bounced back from the loss right at the jump as they remained tied with the North Dakota at Bottineau Jacks 12-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Throughout the second quarter, the Bobcats put the Jacks on their heals as they broke out to a nine point lead at half (39-30).
"We did a phenominal job throuhout the second quarter playing our brand of basketball," Lorenz said "We fought for rebounds, pushed the ball in transition and made it tough on them to score."
Bryant & Stratton outrebounded the Jacks 52-35 in the game.
To start the third quarter, the Bobcats built on the score even more leading 68-51 heading into the fourth.
"It is always vital to start the third quarter strong because you do not want the opposing team to go on an early run," Lorenz said.
Despite a large lead, the 18 point deficit was not enough to keep the Jacks from making things interesting as they outscored the Bobcats 22-7 in the fourth quarter.
Leading by only two points with seconds remaining, Bryant & Stratton was able to hold off the Jacks from what could have been a resounding comeback and heartbreaking defeat.
"We let off the gas in the fourth," Lorenz said. "You cannot get complacent regardless of what the scoreboard says. I am glad we were able to stay strong at the end get out of here with a win."
Sophomore forward, Ja'Taviah Conley, led the way for the Bobcats dropping a team high 16 points followed by Ashley Moses with 13 off of the bench. Guard, Valerie Nzeakor, contributed 12 points off the bench to go along with seven rebounds.
Roster depth came up huge for Bryant & Stratton as the bench scored 31 of the team's 75 points.
"I thought each player brought something to the table this game and it was a definitely a team win," Lorenz said.
The Bobcats shot a grand total of 39% from the field but just 19% from beyond the arc.
The NDSCS Classic is a two day event consisting of four teams. Each team is granted two games. Bryant & Stratton was the only NJCAA Division II program competing in the classic while the other three colleges were NJCAA Division I porgrams.
Bryant & Stratton will have a few days off before they travel to Grayslake, Illinois to square off against the College of Lake County Lancers on Tuesday. The Bobcats (6-4) defeated the Lancers (9-3) 94-47 last season.
Tip-off will take place at 5:30pm.
Spectators can watch Bobcats live on the OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL.