ARTICLE BY: TONY VENEGAS | OA SPORTS
The Odessa College women's basketball team found itself locked in another tough matchup with rival Midland College.
In the end, the Lady Wranglers made timely shots and came through with key defensive stops to pull away for a 59-45 victory in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play Monday at the OC Sports Center.
The victory puts Odessa College (19-7 overall, 8-2 WJCAC) in sole possession of second place in the conference with four games left in the regular season.
"That was a typical game for us against Midland," Odessa College head coach Ara Baten said. "It's always a tough game and I don't know if we've ever had games in the 80s and 90s against them. They're always tough and they're talented and well coached.
"We adjusted and our kids responded and I'm really happy for our kids for getting a good win."
Yanina Todorova led the Lady Wranglers with a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers.
Grace Beasley led the Lady Chaps (17-6, 7-3) with 11 points and six rebounds while Ella Tofaeono had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams struggled offensively early with 3-pointers from Todorova and Midland College's Kayla Anderson accounting for the only points in the first seven minutes of the game.
The Lady Wranglers found a quick burst late in the quarter with eight unanswered points but the Lady Chaps answered with two quick baskets to cut the deficit as Odessa College led 11-7 after the first 10 minutes.
Todorova helped the Lady Wranglers shake off the early offensive struggles by scoring the first seven points of the second quarter to push the lead up to 11 points.
Odessa College extended the lead to 12 twice in the quarter and held Midland College in check.
"I didn't feel anything different offensively," said Todorova of the early offensive struggles. "I just felt that we had good energy and we also did a good job defensively."
A late 8-1 run by the Lady Chaps, however, cut the lead down to 28-23 at halftime.
The start of the third quarter mirrored the start of the game with both teams struggling to shoot the ball.
Todorova again provided the spark, scoring the Lady Wranglers' first five points of the quarter.
The Lady Chaps cut the lead down to 35-30 after a basket from Tofaeono but Odessa College pushed the lead back up to 40-32 heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Lady Wranglers scored the first eight points of the quarter to open up a 16-point advantage and held Midland College scoreless through the first four minutes.
The Lady Chaps had a quick 7-0 run to get back to 48-39 but a Todorova 3-pointer with less than five minutes to go pushed the lead back up to 12 to help secure the season sweep.