Lady Roadrunners Hold Off Rend Lake
The seventh-ranked State Fair Community College Lady Roadrunners kicked off their 2010 season Nov. 1 with a victory in their home opener against Rend Lake College, edging out the Lady Warriors 69-61.
SFCC got a layup from sophomore Ebony Davis off the opening tip to give the Lady Roadrunners a lead they held the whole game. SFCC started the game on a 15-2 run, using their quickness to break down the Rend Lake man-to-man defense and forcing turnovers on the defensive end of the court.
Rend Lake went to a zone defense about 11 minutes into the first half to try to slow down the Lady Roadrunners. With the change in strategy and an abundance of solid free throws, the Lady Warriors cut the deficit to 34-24 at halftime. SFCC held the Lady Warriors to just three field goals in the first half.
“We play much better against man-to-man, because we can use our speed and get out and run," said Lady Roadrunners Head Coach Kevin Bucher. "As soon as they went to zone defense we struggled; that's what we have to work on to improve."
The Lady Warriors cut the lead to five at 38-33 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the second half, and continued to use dribble penetration to cut the Lady Roadrunners’ lead.
"We struggled defending dribble penetration," said Bucher. “The first 10 minutes of the first half, pressure was good and help side defense was good. Then all of the sudden the focus left."
Rend Lake cut the lead to two points at 55-53 with less than four minutes to go. From there, SFCC’s sophomores took over the game. Sophomore Dahlia Booker went the length of the floor for a lay up to extend the lead to four. Sophomore Ciara Leak made a three-point shot to bring the score to 60-55 with three minutes and seven seconds left.
Davis hit three of four free throws to ice the game after personal and technical fouls on the Lady Warriors. In her first game as a Lady Roadrunner, Davis registered a double double, leading the team in points and rebounds with 29 and 12. She also had a team-high four blocked shots in the game.
Leak contributed 11 points. Sophomore Maci Wisdom added nine. Sophomore Arriana Walker contributed a team-leading four assists and four steals.
SFCC will return home Nov. 5 and 6 for the McDonald's Classic. The Lady Roadrunners will take on the Central Methodist University junior varsity on Friday and Southeastern Illinois College on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. both nights.
By David Rohrbach