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Created: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:56 am

Saturday night, the Southwestern Community College Women’s Basketball Team travelled to Marshalltown CC to face the Tigers. In somewhat of an awkward situation for the Spartans, the team entered the game knowing the contest would affect their overall record but not their conference record. Marshalltown, having committed some NJCAA violations, has been forced to vacate their conference schedule while still competing for the remainder of the season. Coming off a tough loss against Ellsworth earlier in the week, the Spartans looked to continue their good play while fighting to put together a more complete 40 minutes of basketball.

The first half featured another solid defensive effort by the Spartans as they entered the break down 29-23. Southwestern shot more than 50 percent from the floor in the opening half, but their inability to rebound and protect the basketball led to a multitude of transition points for the MCC Tigers. After the break, the Tigers amped up their pressure by switching to a 1-3-1 zone where they looked to trap early and often. Southwestern committed early turnovers as they failed to pass well against pressure and made some mental mistakes off dribble. After switching to a high-low offensive set, the Spartans looked to gain momentum back in the game. The Spartans continued their hot shooting, but once again gave up too many second-chance point opportunities.

Read more: Spartans Fall Against Marshalltown

Created: Thursday, January 19, 2012 8:23 am

Wednesday night, the Southwestern Women’s Basketball team traveled to Iowa Falls to face Ellsworth Community College. The Panthers from ECC came into the game receiving votes in the Top 25 and a 13-5 record. Nonetheless, the first half saw the Spartans from Southwestern playing with tons of confidence and energy on both ends of the floor. While they struggled to shoot the ball from the floor at times, Southwestern maintained a lead for most of the half by crashing the boards and working the ball into the paint. Sophomore Amber Thomas (Council Bluffs, IA) played a huge first half, collecting 6 points on three out of four shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds. Up 21-20 at the halftime buzzer, the Spartans seemed in control if only they could continue to hold Ellsworth below their season totals and keep pounding the paint. Unfortunately, the second half did not go Southwestern’s way. Although they were within single digits for much of the final 20 minutes, Ellsworth pulled away at the end to win 64-43.

Read more: Spartans Lose Hold on Halftime Lead

Created: Monday, January 16, 2012 12:02 pm

Saturday afternoon, the Southwestern Women’s Basketball Team traveled to Fort Dodge, IA to face the nationally-ranked (#2) Iowa Central Tritons. Coach Gilcrist commented, “Before the game, we said the keys to our performance were: (1) Get back in transition on defense; (2) Rebound the basketball, especially on the defensive end; (3) Communicate on defense, especially cutters and screens; and last, but not least, (4) MAKE SHOTS!”

Unfortunately, those keys proved to doom the Spartans as they fell to Iowa Central by a final score of 82-25. The Tritons opened the game on a 31-0 run through the first 15 minutes of action. While Southwestern did a decent job of forcing Iowa Central to work in the half-court, the Triton tandem of Rodewald and Nagel proved too dominate on the inside of the paint early.

Read more: Spartans Clobbered by #2 Tritons

Created: Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:28 am

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Facing a team receiving votes in the Top 25, the Southwestern Spartans failed to keep the game within reach Wednesday night against the DMACC Bears. For the second straight game, the Spartans opened the game with a lead through the first five minutes. Unlike their previous contest, this game proved to be a back-and-forth battle for much of the first half. With their best defensive effort of the year, both from a man-to-man and zone perspective, the Spartans forced the Bears to settle for contested jump shots and single-chance possessions. Unfortunately, the winds came out of the Spartan sails late in the half as three straight turnovers turned into six easy points for the DMACC. The teams entered the break with DMACC leading 29-19.

Read more: Spartans Struggle to Keep Close