The Northeast Community College basketball teams both experienced adversity in the second half of their games against Southwestern Community College. The women's team responded with a 72-66 victory while the men's team gave up a five-point halftime lead and lost 86-73.
In the first game of the evening, the Northeast women hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the right wing to start off their scoring. They led 41-31 at halftime, but SWCC stormed back and cut it to a one-point game in the fourth quarter. The Hawks then proceeded to go on a 7-0 run and never looked back.
"We switched our defenses, going back and forth between man and zone. I thought we were fouling a lot. I thought offensively, sometimes it was great execution and sometimes, it was a disaster,” Northeast coach Matt Svehla said. “Our 18 turnovers weren't good. We did have some possessions out of timeouts where we did what we wanted to do. ... I didn't think we played a great basketball game tonight.
“I thought that we didn't play clean offensively and defensively; they had us on our heels. It was good to get the win anyhow."
The Hawks were having a difficult time throughout the game stopping Southwest's Kaylynn Tucker, who shot 50% from the floor and made 10 of 14 free throws. Svehla said she was part of the reason he kept switching his defense.
"Their style of play is to attack you with the dribble and the Tucker girl had 27 points. We had a hard time handling her."
A bright spot for the Hawks in the first half was Breanna Stouffer, who shot 100% from the floor, including draining all three of her 3-point attempts.
"As a returning sophomore, you expect her to come out and be ready to play, and she was,” Svehla said. “At halftime, we had a 10-point lead, but it felt like they were right there. Bre helped us get that first-half cushion."
Svehla also talked about his goals for the rest of the season, as well as how junior college is a different world compared to Division I sports.
"We had just lost two in a row against very good teams. Kirkwood just beat us Saturday in a close game, and they’re ranked No. 2 in the country. We just want to get better every game. This week, we play Tuesday and Thursday, so there's not a lot of practice time. You try to clean up a few things and look at your opponent. That's always a challenge in junior college. Our bus trips are four hours, and we make them in the middle of a week, and then we have to come back. Sometimes you're not always sure you can weather playing on the road."
The Hawks were led by Taylor Peter and her 17 points. Ashley Hassett added 16 while Patricija Peric scored 14.
As for the men's game, the Hawks took a 41-36 lead into halftime, but they couldn't find a way to slow down the Spartans’ offensive attack in the second half.
Coach Dan Anderson said that stretch was the turning point in the matchup.
"We charged a couple people, and that hurt us. We always talk about the first five minutes of the second half being the most important part of the game, and they just came out and played with more energy than us."
A team leader for the Hawks has proven to be Michael Anderson. As one of the few returning players, he scored a career-high 32 points in last Saturday's game against Kirkwood Community College. He nearly matched that Tuesday, scoring 29 points while playing all 40 minutes.
"Michael Anderson has played a lot, and he's a very good player. He provides a calming but loud voice,” coach Anderson said. “His sheer energy carries over. He really shoots and guards well. We played him a lot of minutes, but he deserves it because he's playing just as hard at the end of the game as the beginning of it."
Coach Anderson also added that he isn't too happy about playing his top player that many minutes but wants to see his young players mature a little more first.
"I'd like to see us shoot better free throws and be more consistent from the 3-point arc. I'd also like to see us guard better. We have enough points to win, but we're giving up too many points. Overall, we just have to develop depth. People playing a lot of minutes have to get comfortable, and I think they are.”
The Hawks were led by Anderson's 29 points. Ben Tew scored 14 while Devin Ross pitched in 10.
Southwestern 18 13 22 13 — 66
Northeast 24 17 15 16 — 72
Southwestern CC (5-6): Brielle Baker 5-16 0-0 12, Deja Brown 0-0 2-4 2, Whynter Waterhouse-Brennan 2-12 3-8 8, Kaylynn Tucker 8-16 10-14 27, Alyssa Morris 3-10 5-6 12, Miracle Allen 1-3 1-2 3, Patricia Sherrill 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-59 21-32 66.
Northeast CC (7-4): Yiesha Williams 1-7 3-7 5, Taylor Peter 6-11 5-7 17, Patricija Peric 4-13 5-6 14, Ashley Hassett 4-9 7-8 16, Breanna Stouffer 4-8 2-4 13, Hannah Ollendick 1-5 1-2 4, Brianna Bauer 1-1 1-1 3. Totals: 21-54 24-35 72.
Southwestern 36 50 — 86
Northeast 41 32 — 73
Southwestern CC (5-6): Nate Duckworth 4-6 4-5 13, Joe Kearney 4-9 1-4 9, Donzell Johnson 7-11 1-2 19, Justin Graham 5-7 1-2 11, James Keley 6-12 1-2 14, Qushawn Wells 4-11 0-0 10, Jhonta Gonnigan 1-1 0-0 2, Demarious Carey 2-6 0-0 6, Emmanuel Nwaneri 0-3 2-2 2. Totals: 33-69 9-13 86.
Northeast CC (2-9): Michael Anderson 10-15 4-7 29, Justin Hiser 2-5 1-2 6, Evan Decker 2-10 3-6 9, Jared Lopez 1-7 1-3 3, Ben Tew 6-12 1-3 14, Devin Ross 5-9 0-0 10, Trey Drummond III 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 27-63 10-21 73.