Record: 21-13 Home: 13-6 Away: 8-7 Conf: 14-7
Cougars propelled to RSC Semifinals
Women's Basketball - Thu, Feb. 23, 2017
University of Rio Grande
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||17||17||10||18||62|
|IU Kokomo (Ind.)||16||16||21||22||75|
|Feb. 22, 2017|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||Indv. Leaders||IU Kokomo (Ind.)|
|#23 Jasmine Smith - 16||Points||#23 Deja Felder - 19|
|#23 Jasmine Smith - 15||Rebounds||#12 Whitney Williamson - 7|
|#23 Jasmine Smith - 4||Assists||#23 Deja Felder - 5|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||Team Statistics||IU Kokomo (Ind.)|
|39.3% (24 - 61)||Field Goals %||42.6% (23 - 54)|
|12.5% (1 - 8)||3 Point Field Goals %||44.4% (8 - 18)|
|59.1% (13 - 22)||Free Throws||63.6% (21 - 33)|
|16||2nd Chance Pts||9|
KOKOMO, Ind. -- For the first time in program history, Indiana University Kokomo women's basketball advanced to the River States Conference Semifinals with a 74-62 win over Rio Grande.
The RedStorm were on the board first with a lay up from Brooke Marcum 1:04 into the game. The Cougars responded quickly with their own pair of points from Whitney Williamson 15 seconds later. A three-point shot by Mackenzie Johnson at 7:34 briefly pushed IU Kokomo to a 7-4 lead, but it was Rio Grande who eventually moved ahead, finishing the period at 17-16.
The second period saw a pair of three-pointers from Payton Thomson and one from Deja Felder but it wasn't enough as the RedStorm knocked down 6-18 from the field with 16 boards, sending the Cougars into the locker room down, 34-32.
"During halftime we talked about little changes that allowed the ladies to adjust to the way Rio was playing," Coach Carlee Cottrell commented on what she said to help turn things around into the second half.
Abby Scott opened scoring for IU Kokomo in the second half with a three-pointer with help from Dejianna Butler that brought the Cougars within one, 36-35. A pair of shots from put the Cougars back in the lead at 2:54 into the second half. After a bucket from Rio Grande's leading scorer Sharday Baines, IU Kokomo went on a 10-0 run, including a three by Felder. This helped send the Cougars confidently into the final quarter of the game ahead, 53-44.
"During that second half we got big steps down the stretch of the game and then came down and executed on the offensive end," Coach Cottrell said of the difference between the way the Cougars played during the first and second halves.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, the RedStorm went on a seven point run, closing the margin to three points, 58-55. With 3:28 to go in the game, Rio Grande brought the score within one point, 60-59.
Coach Cottrell wasn't worried, saying post-game, "I'm really proud of how they stayed composed during Rio's run in the fourth quarter."
The tension was brief, as the Cougars were able to hold on to the lead and turn momentum with a three-pointer by Johnson at 1:51.
"The atmosphere was nothing like I've ever seen in that gym before. We felt supported by all of IU Kokomo and I feel like people are starting to believe in us and what we can do," NAIA Champions of Character award winner Amanda Hunter commented about the energy.
Six free throws by Felder in the last 1:07 of the game secured a win for IU Kokomo.
Four Cougars scored in double-figures.
Felder led the way, recording a game-high 19 points. She scored 11 of those points in the second half. She also added a pair of steals and five assists.
Scott finished second on the team in scoring with 16 points, draining seven free throws and bringing down five boards.
Going 56% from the field including 3-5 from three-point range, Johnson put up 15 points of her own.
Dejianna Butler contributed 11 points and six rebounds.
Leading the team in rebounds, Williamson secured seven.
The victory sets up a second meeting this year between IU Kokomo and Ohio Christian University, after falling, 52-47, to the Trail Blazers on January 21 in Circleville, Ohio.
The Cougars will host the Semifinal game on Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 pm.