Streak shattered

02/03/2011 22:49

Lady Titans home-game winning streak ends at 83

Alan K. Fox

Issue date: 2/3/11 Section: Sports
 
Sophomore forward Ashley Smith attempts to steal the ball as time expires and the Lady Titans lose at home for the first time in nine years.
Media Credit: Eugene Johnson
Sophomore forward Ashley Smith attempts to steal the ball as time expires and the Lady Titans lose at home for the first time in nine years.
The nation's longest home-game college basketball winning streak came to an end at 83 Jan. 29 when the Lady Titans fell to Clackamas, 68-65. The Cougars gave LCC its first loss at home in nine years.

"It was sad to see the streak come to an end, especially the way we gave the game away at the end," head coach Greg Sheley said after the game. "The more disappointing thing is that we are now in second place in the league standings, and we really wanted to end the first half of league play in first place."

The game was a match-up of the top two teams in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges' Southern Region and also two of the top-10 ranked teams in the NWAACC coaches' poll, with LCC ranked second and Clackamas fifth.

With the victory the Cougars take the first place slot in the Southern Region.

The Lady Titans (15-4, 5-2 Southern Region) were once again led by the inside game of both Ashley Smith and Kristen Huff. Both players have continued to own the paint over the season.

LCC won the rebound battle 60-35 and had a 25-4 edge on the offensive glass.

Smith had a season-high 24 rebounds, which is the second best in college history. She also had 22 points. Smith is the league's leading scorer with 24.4 points per game. She also is second in rebounds with 10.8 per game.

Huff finished the game with a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. She also added four blocked shots.

The Cougars (16-2, 6-1) were led by star shooter Miranda Martine, who finished the game with 23 points, five points off her season best. She only missed two attempts from the field.

LCC took command early in the game and jumped out to an early 32-19 lead, but finished the half slow and let Clackamas go on an 11-2 run. Halftime began with a 34-30 lead for the Lady Titans.

"We needed to come out and play strong," Smith said. "We just needed to come out with more intensity."

In the second half it was a back-and-forth battle with the Lady Titans holding the edge until close to the end of the game.
 
The shooting percentage for LCC attributed to the loss. The women were only able to shoot 33.3 percent from the field and 15.3 percent from behind the three-point arch.

"We controlled the game for 38 and half minutes but found a way to give it away," Sheley said. "We didn't play to win, we played not to lose and it cost us."

After the game, Smith and Huff were open about what they needed to work on going forward.

"We don't play well under pressure, and as soon as one of us gets the ball, we try to get rid of it," Smith said. "We knew who their shooters were and we just didn't cover them well enough."

"We just need to be stronger with the ball," Huff said. "We're still a good team and we're still working at it."

The previous night the Lady Titans traveled to Salem to take on Chemeketa and earned an easy victory with a 103-50 win over the Storm.

Huff and Smith had double-doubles for the Lady Titans.

Smith finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds and Huff finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Brittany May also added 18 points with 15 of them coming from three-point range.

The Titans return to the court Feb. 5 when they travel to Albany to play Linn-Benton. Tip-off for the game is 4 p.m.