Women’s basketball holds onto top spot in MCCAA Eastern Conference
By Ross Guider, Staff Writer
The win’s keep adding up for the Ocelots and the team continues to hold steady at the fifth spot for the fourth straight week in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II polls. The 18-1, 8-0 Ocelots closed out recent victories over both Mott and Delta College and are currently on a a seven game winning streak asof Jan. 23.
Consistency on both sides of the court for the Ocelots has been the difference. In the nineteen games played, the team has been averaging 66.3 points, 46.9 rebounds, and 15.9 assists per game.
Ocelots maul Bears, 70-51
On Jan. 19, the Ocelots traveled to Flint to take on the Bears of Mott Community College. The Bear’s came into the matchup ranked 12 best in the NJCAA in defensive rebounds with 30.2 and 17 in opponents’ field goal percentage at 33.8. The contest was fairly one sided with one tie (2-2) at the 8:44 time mark. After that point, the Ocelots never allowed Mott to come close, outscoring Mott 21-4 in the first quarter. At the half the Ocelots forced 11 turnovers and had an 8 rebound differential. Sophomore Elise Tolbert lead all scorers with 11 points and of the 8 turnovers Mott lost in the first half, Tolbert accounted for 2 of them.
“As a team we started off strong with a big lead, said Tolbert. “They went on a little bit of a run but we held our own,” said Tolbert.
Sophomore Ashley Bland was the top performer for the Ocelots, playing 40 min, grabbing six rebounds, assisting nine, stealing two, blocking two, and scoring 14.
“We played as a team, communicated, and played strong the whole 40 minutes,” said Bland.
Sophomores Rikki Scherdt and Elise Tolbert combined for totals of 19 rebounds, eight steals, and 25 points.
Ocelots cut down Pioneers, 60-39
The Ocelots played host to the high scoring Delta Pioneers (11-7) on Jan. 23. The Pioneers squad averages 69.6 points per contest. The Ocelot defense shined in this matchup, scoring 17 points on14 turnovers, grabbed 35 defensive rebounds, and held the Pioneers to 1-18 from three point range. Despite Schoolcraft shooting 36.8 percent from the field, they were still able to create an offensive rhythm.
“It was an off shooting day for us but we still managed to contain Delta and pull through for the win,” said Bland.
The team leader in points for the matchup was sophomore T’era Nesbitt with 23 points in 29 minutes. Freshman Jade Smith aided as well by diving on the floor after loose balls and boxing out under the basket led toan all-around game of 3 steals and 7 rebounds.
Nationwide sports coaches preach how “offense wins games” while “defense wins championships” and the Ocelots have been listening. A key component for the Ocelots has been their stellar defense, holding opponents to a staggering 29.8 field goal percentage (second in NJCAA). For more stats, schedules and roster, visit MCCAA.org or NJCAA.org.