Close Call

02/17/2011 19:57

Smith sinks final shot of the game

Alan K. Fox

Issue date: 2/17/11 Section: Sports
 
EUGENE JOHNSON / THE TORCH Brittany May added to her record-breaking three-point performance hitting five more against SWOCC on Feb. 16.
Media Credit: Eugene Johnson
EUGENE JOHNSON / THE TORCH Brittany May added to her record-breaking three-point performance hitting five more against SWOCC on Feb. 16.
Head coach Greg Sheley (right) buries his head in his hands in frustration, along with his assistant coaches as the Lady Titans enter the second half trailing SWOCC by 12 points Feb. 16. The ladies went on to win 75-72.
Media Credit: Eugene Johnson
Head coach Greg Sheley (right) buries his head in his hands in frustration, along with his assistant coaches as the Lady Titans enter the second half trailing SWOCC by 12 points Feb. 16. The ladies went on to win 75-72.

Redemption was the name of the game for the Lady Titans when Southern Region rival Southwestern visited Titan Coliseum Feb. 16. LCC was able to rebound from a 19-point deficit in the second half to win the game, 75-72.

The last time the two teams played on Jan. 22 the Lady Titans fought back from a 17-point second half deficit, but ended up losing on a last second-shot by the Lakers.

Ashley Smith, a sophomore forward who leads the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in both scoring and rebounding, led the way for the Lady Titans. She finished the game with a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

"This was just a huge win for all of us, the team and for our coaches," Smith said. "Our coach kept calling this redemption and that is exactly what we needed."

More importantly, she sealed the game for LCC with a clutch three-pointer with 10.3 seconds remaining on the clock.

Also scoring a double-double was sophomore forward Kristen Huff. She overcame a slow start where she shot only 1-for-8 from the field in the first half to finish the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"The game was nerve-wracking and hopefully next time we have a game I hope we are playing hard and are up 20 or 10 and not down it," Huff said. "It was getting back and having that kind game, but it would be nice not to be stressed."

Scouts from four-year schools were in attendance to check out both Smith and Huff, including University of Oregon's women's basketball head coach Paul Westhead and a scout from Northern Colorado.

The Lady Titans (19-4, 9-2 Southern Region) had troubles on both ends of the floor in the first half. The strength of the team has been its inside presence on both offense and defense, but LCC struggled on both ends.

LCC shot only 23 percent from the floor in the first half, including nine percent from behind the arch, which led to the Lady Titans being down 34-22 at the half.

The Lakers (16-7, 6-5) were able to shoot 50 percent from the field with most of the scoring coming from inside the paint.

After a halftime speech from head coach Greg Sheley the team seemed to come out in the second half with a sense of urgency.

"Right now we are mentally beat up and physically beat up and we just need to kinda get through this tough time," Sheley said. "I'm hoping that the win tonight gave us some confidence to be able to play through some of these tough times."

In the beginning of the half, LCC received a boost from both Huff and sophomore guard Brittany May. The two sparked a 17-3 run in less then a three-minute span. The score then was 56-45 for the Lakers.

May added to her school three-point records with her 5-for-10 shooting from behind the arch, two of which came with under three minutes. She finished the game with 15 points.

May hit two crucial three-pointers with less than three minutes left in the game.

"I don't want to do that again," May said. "We have good momentum going forward and we know what we need to do."

The Lady Titans look to continue a push for first place in the Southern Region when they travel to Roseburg Feb. 19 to face off against third-place Umqua.

The game will be broadcast on Lane Titan radio at http://bit.ly/fa5Ul6. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m.