Wrangler Women fall to Midland in Physical Battle

Peter Dindinger:OA
Peter Dindinger:OA

After nearly three weeks on the road, the Odessa College women's basketball team was hoping to make the return home to stay on the winning track.

However, things did not go according to plan for the Lady Wranglers, falling 69-61 to Midland College Monday night at the OC Sports Center. 

"I just thought our timing was a little bit off tonight, especially offensively," Odessa College head coach Ara Baten said. "You have to give Midland a lot of credit playing well defensively."

Aside from dealing with the tough defense, Odessa College had problems with foul trouble and on the glass all night.

The Lady Wranglers were called for 30 fouls on the night while also being outrebounded 44-29 by the Lady Chaps.

By comparison, Midland College had 18 fouls called on it.

"I can't really talk about that," Baten said on the fouls. "I don't have anything to say about how the game was officiated."

Even with the close calls, the Lady Wranglers got off to a quick start offensively, scoring the game's first five points and taking a 10-4 lead at the first media timeout midway through the first quarter.

However, the game would slow down as both teams combined for two made field goals over the final 4:43 of the quarter as Odessa College led 12-7 after one.

The Lady Chaps had an answer early in the second quarter, starting the frame on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 14.

After Odessa College regained the lead off an Arielle Adams jumper, Midland College scored the last nine points of the half from the free throw line to take a 23-20 halftime lead.

Bethany Theodore finished 10-of-12 from the foul line en route to her 14-point performance.

Lana Marov finished with a game-high 16 points for the Lady Chaps while Ogechi Nwodo had 11.

The third quarter saw the pace pick up offensively as Amanda Soderqvist and Geovana Lopes hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 26.

After Midland College retook the lead at 30-28, the Lady Wranglers went on their best stretch of the game, a 7-0 run to push the lead up to 35-28.

Wytalla Motta and Kamryn Lemon helped lead the charge for Odessa College, scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Nineteen of those 25 combined points came after halftime.

"Coach Baten made a point to us that we didn't play our best in the first half," Lemon said. "We knew we just had to play better and we were able to do that some after halftime."

The third quarter saw Midland College rally back before Julan McDonald banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Odessa College a 47-44 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

Odessa College pushed the lead back to seven points in the first minute of the fourth quarter but was unable to hold on to the lead.

The Lady Chaps were able to keep possessions alive and get to the free throw line down the stretch.

After a Motta 3-pointer tied the game at 56 with 4:18 remaining, Midland College outscored the Lady Wranglers 13-5 over the closing stretch of the game to earn the win.

"The biggest difference was rebounding," Baten said. "We didn't get enough second chances on our end and gave up way too many chances on their end.

"We just have to find a way to bounce back against a tough opponent on the road on Thursday."

ARTICLE BY - TONY VENGAS: ODESSA AMERICAN
PHOTO BY - PETER DINDINGER: ODESSA AMERICAN