Happy Sophomore Night: Lady Bears pull away late to defeat Lady Rangers
Published 10:40 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022
The emotion of sophomore night and playing against a talented Northwest Lady Ranger team were just a couple of the factors the Lady Bears faced in Monday night’s home game wrapping the regular season.
However, whatever slowed the Lady Bears down early, was quickly put in the rear-view mirror as SMCC stormed back, grabbing a second quarter lead and never relinquishing it before picking up a 69-58 win.
“We knew that they were going to be a difficult match,” SMCC head coach Brent Harris said of Northwest. “They can spread you out, they can shoot it. The game was going that way and it was tough to guard. We changed defense until we found something that we were a little comfortable in.”
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Unlike Thursday’s game at Miss. Gulf Coast, the Lady Bears (16-7, 11-3 MACCC) got off to a bit of a slow start. Down 14-6 late in the opening quarter, Shylia McGee — one of six sophomores honored — nailed a 3-pointer helping SMCC claw its way back into the contest. At the end of the quarter, Analya White made a short-range shot pulling the Lady Bears within four at 20-16.
In the second quarter, the 3-pointer was key for the Lady Bears as they connected on four, half of which came from another sophomore in Gabby Bunch. McGee continued her big night with another four points in the period helping give SMCC a 36-34 halftime lead.
McGee had her best scoring quarter of the night in the third as she nailed her third 3-pointer which complemented a basket and four free throws. After the game, McGee said that it was a strong way for her team to wrap the regular season and build momentum for the post season.
“It was a fun, intense game,” she said. “We knew that we needed this game in order to be highly ranked and get a home (playoff) game. We just came out and did what we had to do.”
With a 53-37 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Bears slowly began pulling away even further before taking the game.
McGee led all scorers with 23 points. Also finishing in double figures was Bunch with 12, White with 11 and Nia Hardison with 10.