Jan 20, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterIt was an ignominious start to the 2014 conference basketball schedule for the Central Wyoming College women Saturday afternoon at Rustler Gym. The Rustlers fell 61-45 to Casper College to drop to 1-6 in Region IX play.
Saturday's game featured a homecoming of sorts for former Lander Valley Tiger standout Shanda Post. She had an excellent floor game and paced the Casper Thunderbirds with five steals. She added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The opening half was tight, with four lead changes and an equal number of ties before Casper College ended the half on an 8-0 run to take a 25-19 lead into intermission.
Central Wyoming opened with a solid man-to-man defense and built an early 8-4 lead on a pair of baskets from McKenley Helstern and a 3-pointer from Kiara Skinner.
The initial scoring surge faded away on both ends of the floor as a 4:14 scoring drought kept the four-point margin for the Rustlers.
Casper's Kendyl Nunn ended the cold spell with a power drive to the basket, and a Post jumper knotted the contest at eight.
A trey from Central's Jolana Sazue lifted the Rustlers back to a brief lead, but the score started to bounce back and forth over the next eight minutes.
With 2:41 remaining in the half the Rustlers held a tenuous 19-17 advantage, but Casper rolled into a six-point lead at the half on a Post 3-pointer and free throws from Nunn and Cierra Levias.
Central had difficulty getting good looks against the Thunderbird defense later in the opening half, flirting with the shot clock on most possessions.
A quick CWC basket cut the lead to 25-21 to open the second half, but Casper rolled again, this time on a 7-0 run to build a three possession lead at 32-23. The T-birds never relinquished the lead again in spite of a second trey from Levias that cut the margin to four points with 13:11 left in the game.
Casper went to Nunn on most possessions, and she responded with power drives and athletic moves near the basket. She finished with a game-high 21 points.
A sizable Lander contingent cheered Post on a coast-to-coast drive with 6:38 left that put the visitors up 47-39.
The final five minutes of play featured a steady march to the free-throw line by both teams.
The Rustlers travel to Sheridan for a Wednesday game at the Golden Dome, then host Miles City this Saturday at 3 p.m.
CENTRAL WYOMING 19 26 - 45
CASPER COLLEGE 25 36 - 61
Central Wyoming - Stephani Lewandowski 1 3-4 5, Jolana Sazue 1 (2) 2-4 10, Lindsee Robison 2-2 2, Abbey Wilson 3-7 3, Tina Hosea 3 5-6 11, McKenley Helstern 3 3-3 9, Kiara Skinner (1) 0-0 3. Totals 8 (3) 20-29 45
Casper College - Sakayla Davenport 4-4 4, Kaylee Swope 2-2 2, Shanda Post 2 (2) 0-1 10, Kassidy Scott 1 0-0 2, Cheyanne Balster 3 2-2 8, Megan Becker 4-4 4, Cierra Levias 1 3-5 5, Ragen Wilson 1 0-0 2, Kendyl Nunn 9 3-5 21, Elissa Johnson 1-3 1. Totals 17 (2) 21-26 61
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.