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Rustler women pull upset in Region IX opener

Rustler women pull upset in Region IX opener; men ousted

Mar 11, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Note: The Lady Rustlers meet Otero Junior College at 5 p.m. Monday at Casper College and the Ranger will be there. Catch all the details in Tuesday's Ranger.

Central Wyoming College pulled off the upset of the opening round 67-59 on Saturday at the Region IX women's basketball tournament against Western Nebraska.

The Rustlers were the No. 6 seed from the north division in the do-or-die tournament at Casper College, and the Lady Cougars had the No. 3 seed from the south.

"We had to control our fouls, which we did," CWC women's coach Serol Stauffenberg said. "We had one bad foul the entire game. We were never working around foul issues."

The Rustlers had 14 turnovers in the 40-minute game, and Western ended at 11 turnovers. CWC won the rebounding war 36-25.

"If we kept our turnovers at 15 or less, then I thought we would be in pretty good shape," Stauffenberg said.

It was the first meeting of the season between the two squads. Western Nebraska eliminated CWC from the tournament last year in an opening-round game that went to overtime.

"Western was forced to shoot the 3-pointer a little more because we didn't guard some people," Stauffenberg said.

Western was just 2-18 from the 3-point line in the loss.

"Western just isn't known as an outside shooting team," Stauffenberg said.

The win on Saturday advanced CWC into the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. on Sunday against the Sheridan College Lady Generals.

Sheridan College swept CWC during the regular season and finished as the No. 2 seed from the north.

The Lady Generals eliminated Trinidad State 58-35 in their first game of the tournament on Friday afternoon. Fallon Lewis scored 15 points in the win for Sheridan. Lewis has signed to play basketball next year for University of Wyoming coach Joe Legerski.

Former Lander Valley High School standout Ruth O'Neal scored four points.

Sheridan College edged CWC 68-65 on Feb. 11 at Rustler Gym.

"We might be 0-2 against Sheridan, but the two games went down to the final minute," Stauffenberg said. "We are excited to play them again."

The winner of the Sheridan-CWC game moves into the semifinal game on Monday vs. the winner of Otero Junior College and Gillette College. Game time is at 5 p.m.

The title game will be played at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

CWC 67, Western Nebraska 59

Point guard Jacki Nicholson returned to the lineup for the Rustlers on Saturday after missing the last three weeks (hurt knee) contributed eight points in the first 20 minutes.

Nicholson finished with 11 points in 39 minutes of action.

"Jacki did what she had to do for us to win the game," Stauffenberg said.

Western had a 31-28 lead at the break because of Leona Garrett's eight points. Garrett had two 3-pointers in the first half.

In the second half, CWC went inside to Porsha Wadsworth, and the freshman from Rock Springs sparked CWC to overtake the lead. Wadsworth had 12 points.

"Porsha has done good things for us all year," Stauffenberg said. "She just had to make a little better decision on when she would go to the basket.

I thought that she did a better job of going to the basket. She had three 3-point play opportunities. Those were huge for us. She was a big reason on why we had the second half that we did."

Brynlie Nielsen paced the Rustlers in scoring with 15 points, and she pulled in 10 rebounds.

"Brynlie played one of the better games of her career because she played both ends of the court," Stauffenberg said.

Courtney Patterson (14 points) and Emily Smith (11 points) were in double figures for the Rustlers.

Northeastern Colorado 74, CWC men 69

Central Wyoming College had a 36-25 lead in the first half of its Region IX men's opener but couldn't hang on and fell 74-69 to Northeastern Colorado on Saturday night in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Four CWC players reached double digits in scoring. The setback ended the season for the Rustlers.

Malachi Roberts led the way with 14 points. Davion Pearson had 13 points,

Armani Flanningan netted 12 points, and Preston Eaton scored 11.

CWC women 67, Western Nebraska 59

CWC 28 39 -- 67

WESTERN 31 28 -- 59

CWC -- Brynlie Nielsen 5 (1) 2-2 15, Elise Keller 2 0-0 4, Emily Smith 4 3-4 11, Courtney Patterson 7 0-0 14, Porsha Wadsworth 5 2-6 12, Jacki Nicholson 1 (3) 0-0 11. Totals 24 (4) 7-12 67.

Western -- Samantha Sanders 5 6-6 16, Jasmine Shaffer 0 1-2 1, Leona Garrett 2 (2) 0-0 19, Lisa Durden (1) 1-1 3, ChaCha Ofoegbu 3 2-2 8, Kelsey Doddrige 4 3-4 11, Jessica Arataini 5 0-0 10. Totals 20 (2) 13-15 59.

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