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By Glen Miller
Keeping pressure on the conference frontrunners, the Redlands Community College women’s basketball team extended its current winning streak with a 57-39 win over Carl Albert State College.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Cougars and seventh out of the last eight outings. Redlands improved to 16-7 on the season and 9-5 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.
“At times our play over the last five or six games has been really good and at other times not so OK, but we have found a way to win,” said RCC head coach Jay Niehues.
“As far as the playoffs, we’ve got to keep winning and try and get the higher seed. We know we can beat anyone in the conference, which is a good feeling.”
Redlands remains in fifth place and trails Murray State by half a game for fourth after the Aggies rallied to defeat Northeastern Oklahoma A&M – currently tied for second in the OCAC ranks.
The Cougars are a game back of both NEO and Northern Oklahoma of Enid and three back of league leader Eastern Oklahoma. Redlands has four games left in the regular season before opening up the NJCAA Region II Championships.
Seeding for the championships is based off the OCAC regular-season standings. Redlands holds a 2 1/2 game lead over Seminole for the fifth spot.
“The bottom five teams plus Arkansas Baptist will play each other and the winners of those three games will go to Shawnee with the top five seeds for an eight-team championship,” said Niehues.
The win over CASC was critical as it put the Vikings four games back of Redlands for the fifth spot and that automatic bid to Shawnee. It also avenged an earlier seven-point loss on the road to Carl Albert.
“We started out slow and didn’t have much intensity and it showed on the offensive end. In the second half we made a good run and hit some shots and the defense played well,” said Niehues.
The game was tied at 21-all at the break despite Redlands getting a 3-pointer and seven points from Lissette Plasencia and a trey and five points from Kayla Pahcoddy. Arielle Cooper added six points.
The Redlands defense held Carl Albert to 18 points in the second half, while the Cougars offense doubled that effort to secure the 18-point win.
Plasencia added 11 points in the second half to pace the Redlands offense, with Alexis Watson recording a pair of 3-pointers. Pahcoddy chipped in seven points and Cooper added six.
Plasencia closed the game with 18 points, six boards and a steal, while Pahcoddy logged yet another double-double with 12 points, 12 boards and two steals.
Cooper was the third in double figures with a double-double of her own, logging 12 points, 14 boards and three picks. Kaylan Haywood added seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Wykeena King rounded out the scoring with two points.
Miscue leads to overtime loss for RCC men
A turnover by the Redlands Community College men’s basketball team with 2.9 seconds left resulted in a basket for Carl Albert State College as the Vikings pulled out a 61-59 overtime win.
The game was tied at 59-all and Redlands set for an inbound play under Carl Albert’s goal. However, a low pass was tipped and the loose ball was scooped up by CASC for the game-winning shot. It was the first win of the season in league play for the Vikings.
The loss was the second in a row for Redlands, but only the second setback at “The Pit” (RCC gymnasium) since the Cougars returned from the holiday break.
Redlands slipped to 8-16 on the season with the loss and 5-9 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference standings. Carl Albert improved to 1-13 in OCAC play and 3-20 on the year.
The Cougars offense was limited after one of its top scorers since the break, Revey Norton, was benched for being tardy for the 8 p.m. tip-off. Redlands warmed up with seven players in uniform, three less than the Vikings.
Redlands got off to a quick start with baskets from Joey Gripper and D’Anthony Perkins in the first two minutes of the game. However, the Cougars would miss their next five attempts to let the Vikings back into the contest.
The Cougars cold shooting lasted from the 18:34 mark until Jared Griffin hit a jumper in the paint with 13:49 left in the opening half. During the 4:45 basket drought, RCC did get two free throws from Tavarion Nix and one from Quienton Paras.
Neither team shot the ball well in the opening 20 minutes as Redlands scoring came in groups of two. Nix followed up Griffin’s jumper with a basket (12:54) to give RCC an 11-7 lead.
However, the Cougars missed six more shots until Blaine Owens netted a 3-pointer with 5:52 left. Nix backed that up with a basket to tie the game at 16-all.
Nix scored back-to-back buckets (3:13 and 2:37) to end a mini-drought for RCC, before Gripper’s free throw with 1:51 left in the half tied the game at 21-all.
Redlands would score the last four points of the half on baskets by Gripper and Paras to take a 25-21 lead into the break. The Cougars closed the half shooting 10-of-28 from the field (35 percent) as the game had seven ties and seven lead changes.
The Cougars scoring woes carried over as RCC missed its first four shots of the second half, allowing the Vikings to tie the game at 27-all.
Carl Albert would go on a 7-0 run to counteract a 3-pointer by RCC’s Roderick Clark, but could not shake the Cougars. Redlands fought back to tie the game at 39-all on a fast-break basket and free throw from Gripper.
The lead would switch hands over seven times in the final 10 minutes before Redlands forced overtime on a rebound and put-back by Gripper with 7.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 50-all.
Carl Albert outscored Redlands, 29-25, over the final 20 minutes and 11-9 in the overtime session.
Gripper led Redlands in scoring with 14 points, including a 4-of-7 effort at the free-throw line, while posting two rebounds and two assists. Paras added 13 points, six rebounds and a steal.
Nix was the third player in double digits with 12 points, six rebounds and a steal. Griffin led those in single digits with eight points, five boards, a steal and an assist.
Clark was close behind with seven points, four caroms, two assists and a steal. Owens added a steal to his trey, while Perkins had two boards, an assist and a steal.