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home : sports : sports May 24, 2016

2/13/2013 2:55:00 PM
Lady Statesmen win first game of season
LTC beats Shawnee 57-47 to snap 19-game losing skid
JOSH BROWN
Sports Editor

Something had to give for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team.

The Lady Statesmen were bound to win a game at some point this season, it was just a matter of when.

When came Monday night, as Lincoln Trail bested visiting Shawnee Community College, 57-47, to pick up their first win of the season and snap a 19-game losing streak.

"This feels amazing," LTC head coach Scott Sparks said after earning his first win as a college coach. "It feels just like it did when I was a player. I am so happy for the girls. They have worked so hard and they deserved a win."

The Lady Statesmen have improved throughout the season despite injuries that have left the bench short and have come close on several occasions, but could never quite get over the hump.

Monday night, they played well from nearly start to finish and led most of the way to pick up that elusive victory.

Lincoln Trail shook off a slow start that saw them go scoreless for almost three minutes to start the game, but fortunately Shawnee was equally cold and held just a 1-0 lead more than two minutes into the game. After missing their first four field goal attempts, Danielle Nettleton knocked down a jumper for LTC to put them on top 2-1 at the 17:07 mark. Lara Benningfield followed with a baseline drive and layup for a 4-1 lead with 16:40 to play, but the Lady Statesmen would then miss their next eight shots. Fortunately, Shawnee opened the game by missing their first nine field goal attempts, before Skylar Blake hit a three-pointer and followed with a layup after a LTC turnover 17 seconds later to put Shawnee in front 6-4 with 13:00 remaining.

Benningfield tied the game at 6-6 with two free throws with 12:38 left, but a three-pointer by Ashley Matlock have Shawnee a 9-6 lead with 11:40 to go. Kelsie Coleman answered for LTC with back-to-back putbacks to put the Lady Statesmen on top, 10-9, with 9:45 left, but Shawnee's Allison Garrett hit a three-pointer to put the Lady Saints up 12-10 with 9:28 to play. A long two-pointer by Nettleton tied the game at the 9:00 mark, but Shawnee scored five of the next seven points to take a 17-14 lead with 6:55 remaining. A free throw by Nettleton closed the gap to two, then Andrea Rivera drained a three-pointer to give LTC an 18-17 lead with 5:15 to go.

The lead was short-lived, as Tori Burton hit a three-pointer for Shawnee to give them a 20-18 edge at the 5:00 mark. Lincoln Trail responded with seven straight points and finished the half on a 10-3 run. Benningfield scored consecutive baskets to give LTC a 22-20 lead with 4:15 to play, then Gabrielle Duncan hit a three-pointer to make the score 25-20 with 2:45 to go. A putback by Coleman pushed the lead to 27-20 with 1:40 left, before Garrett hit another three for Shawnee to make the score 27-23 with 20 seconds remaining. However, Rivera picked up a loose ball after a missed three-pointer by Nettleton and tossed in a 25-footer at the buzzer to give the Lady Statesmen a 30-23 lead at halftime.

Shawnee cut the lead to four on a couple of occasions early in the second half, but could not get any closer than that. Holding a 32-28 lead at the 16:25 mark, LTC went on a 9-0 run on baskets by Coleman and Rivera, followed by five straight points from Duncan to push the lead to 41-28 with 11:45 to play. Shawnee scored the next five points to get within eight, 41-33, with 11:05 to go, but the Lady Statesmen countered with seven points in a row to take their biggest lead of the game, 48-33, after two free throws by Nettleton with 7:45 remaining.

Shawnee used an 8-2 run to get within nine, 50-41, with 5:27 to play, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. Lincoln Trail led by 12 late, before a basket by Shawnee in the final seconds made the final margin 10.

Regardless of the margin, it was still a win for the Lady Statesmen, which was the most important thing.

"This feels great," Sparks said. "These girls have been through a lot and it's hard to stay positive when you are losing. But, they have continued to work hard in practice and have gotten so much better. It hasn't shown at the end of games until now, but from where we started to where we are now, they are a completely different team."

It was a strange game statistically, as the Lady Statesmen were outscored 30-15 from three-point range, but Lincoln Trail held a 36-14 advantage inside the arc and a 6-3 edge at the free throw line to make up the difference. Also, LTC committed 21 turnovers to 14 for Shawnee, but the Lady Statesmen made up for that by outrebounding Shawnee 59-34, many of which were on the offensive end.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball, with Lincoln Trail making 23-64 attempts (36 percent), including 18-42 from two-point range (43 percent) and 5-22 from three-point range (23 percent), while Shawnee made just 17-66 shots from the floor (26 percent), which included a 7-31 effort from inside the arc (23 percent) and a 10-35 performance from long distance (29 percent). The Lady Statesmen were also 6-12 from the free throw line (50 percent), while Shawnee made 3-4 foul shots (75 percent).

All seven players for LTC scored, including four in double figures. Coleman led the way with 11 points, 11 rebounds and one steal, while Duncan posted 11 points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist. Benningfield totaled 10 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot, Rivera contributed 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one steal, Nettleton collected nine points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal, Kristin Henry netted four points, six rebounds and one assist and Ted'ra Taborn added two points, nine rebounds, one steal and one assist.

Matlock led Shawnee with 14 points, three rebounds, three steals, one assist and one blocked shot, while Garrett posted 12 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist.

Lincoln Trail (1-19) will play at Vincennes (Ind.) University Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., before traveling to Shawnee for a rematch with the Lady Saints Saturday at 2 p.m.

"We only lost to Vincennes by nine the last time we played and that was a game I felt we could have won, but we didn't close it out," Sparks said. "We are ready to get some more wins, now we have to go out and do it."



At LTC Sports Center, Robinson

Shawnee Community College 23 24 - 47

Lincoln Trail College 30 27 - 57



SHAWNEE (47)

Skylar Blake 1-1 1-2 0-0 5, Destiny Dillow 0-8 0-2 2-2 2, Emily Terbrak 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Ortres Bridges 2-9 0-1 0-0 4, Allison Garrett 0-1 4-14 0-0 12, Tori Burton 0-0 2-6 0-0 6, Ashley Matlock 2-9 3-10 1-2 14, Karley O'Donley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Lateesha Baquet 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 7-31 2FG, 10-35 3FG, 3-4 FT, 47 TP.

LINCOLN TRAIL (57)

Danielle Nettleton 3-5 0-4 3-4 9, Kristin Henry 2-3 0-0 -0 4, Andrea Rivera 2-4 2-7 0-0 10, Kelsie Coleman 5-11 0-0 1-2 11, Lara Benningfield 4-8 0-1 2-4 10, Gabrielle Duncan 1-2 3-10 0-0 11, Ted'ra Taborn 1-9 0-0 0-2 2, TOTALS 18-42 2FG, 5-22 3FG, 6-12 FT, 57 TP.

Turnovers - SCC 14, LTC 21. Team fouls - SCC 10, LTC 9. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (SCC 34) Burton 7, Garrett 6, Bridges 6, Dillow 5. (LTC 59) Benningfield 14, Coleman 11, Rivera 9, Taborn 9, Henry 6, Nettleton 5, Duncan 5. Steals - (SCC 12) Bridges 5, Matlock 3, Garrett 2, Blake 2. (LTC 6) Nettleton, Rivera, Coleman, Benningfield, Duncan, Taborn. Assists - (SCC 12) Blake 5, Bridges 4. (LTC 12) Rivera 4, Benningfield 3, Nettleton 2, Henry, Duncan, Taborn. Blocked shots - (SCC 6) Baquet 2, Matlock, Terbrak, Dillow, Blake. (LTC 1) Benningfield.

Next game - Lincoln Trail (1-19) will play at Vincennes (Ind.) University Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.





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