Tri-C’s women’s basketball team suffered a 66-52 home loss Tuesday night to the 17th ranked Thunder wolves of Niagara Community College.
The Lady Challengers were playing their third game in four nights and fatigue showed. They got off to a slow start, allowing Niagara easy fast-break points off of careless turnovers. Due to the lack of energy the Challengers were forced to play a zone defense to stop the fast break, however, that left them susceptible to a barrage of three pointers and offensive rebounds.
Niagara built a 13 point halftime lead and the Challengers were never able to recover and even trim the margin under ten in the second half. The lack of fluidity on offense made it tough for Tri-C to ever get into a real rhythm, which is the major cause for the low field goal percentage and the litany of turnovers, especially in the second half.
Coach Derrick Williams was disappointed in the outcome but understands the circumstances surrounding the loss. “We played three games in four nights and our girls just aren’t used to playing those types of minutes,” Williams said following the loss. “We were coming off a 22 point win on the road, and we just came out flat. We weren’t ready to play,” Williams went on to say.
When asked why the Challengers started playing the zone Williams acknowledged that normally he likes to trap and play full court man to man on defense, but since they already played Niagara he felt an adjustment was needed.
“We played them before and they adjusted so I tried to go to the zone, however, they moved the ball really well and stayed a step ahead of us all night,” he said.
Even though the loss was a tough one, Williams believes in the resolve of his team.
“When you lose a game like this it always makes us come back and work harder,” he said, while understanding this is a monumental week for his students with final exams being more important than anything.
Williams knows the challenges that his 2-5 team faces, especially having nine freshmen on the roster, however, he is confident that by January when conference play starts the team will be ready to compete for a league championship. The Lady Challengers are back in action Dec. 19 in Warren, Michigan as they take on Macomb Community College.