SCOTTSBLUFF, Nebraska – A busy holiday weekend found the Eastern Wyoming College Lady Lancers at the Thanksgiving Tournament in Utah hosted by Salt Lake Community College on November 24-26.
EWC fell to the host school, 65-55, on Friday. Saturday’s game featured a showdown between EWC and Utah State Eastern that USE won, 116-62. The tournament ended on Sunday with EWC coming up short against Odessa College, 97-48.
EWC boarded the bus again on Tuesday, November 28, for an away game against rival Western Nebraska Community College. Despite a concerted effort by the Lady Lancers to make a comeback in the second half, WNCC prevailed, 85-46.
SLCC dominated the first half to establish a 34-19 lead going into the locker room.
Refusing to throw in the towel, the Lady Lancers outscored their rival in the second half, 36-31.
“Salt Lake is historically a really good program and very well coached and we did a really good job battling them,” head coach Timothy Larsen said. “We played well for three out four quarters, but as we know, it’s a four quarter game and we just came up short.”
Freshman Ali Tripp led EWC in scoring against Salt Lake with 17 points, going 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Sophomore Emma Jimenez netted double digits with 12 points, shooting 4-for-5 from outside the perimeter.
Utah State Eastern controlled the scoreboard for all four quarters against the Lady Lancers to win, 116-62. EWC again fell short against Odessa College, 97-48.
“USE and Odessa are both great teams and currently ranked in the top 25 in the country,” Larsen said. “It was good for us to see that size, strength and athleticism that both teams possessed. We wanted to challenge our team early this year to be ready for conference games in January and February and I think we did just that.”
Freshman Nikolina Vukcevic led EWC in scoring against USE with 16 points, netting four of four free throws. Fellow Freshman Tamar Kopilevich tossed in 14 points. Kopilevich netted 15 points against Odessa College with freshman Tawny Rodriguez posting a double-double at 11 points and 11 rebounds.
EWC struggled to find its footing in the first two quarters with WNCC establishing a 55-22 lead at halftime. WNCC maintained its momentum into the third quarter, outmaneuvering EWC, 16-7.
Digging deep, the Lady Lancers rallied in a gritty fourth quarter to score 17 points and hold WNCC to 15 points.
“Tuesday’s game was a tough one,” coach Larsen said. “WNCC jumped out on us and played with a lot of energy – definitely credit to them. I think we made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes that hurt us early and we just couldn’t recover from them.”
EWC’s hectic schedule on the road also took a toll.
“These past weeks have definitely been tough with seven games in 14 days, all on the road and three against top 20 teams,” Larsen added. “It was a good learning experience for our group.”
Freshman Ali Tripp led EWC in scoring with 13 points. Sophomore Andrea Gutierrez Ciordia contributed 11 points.
EWC returns home this weekend with a game against McCook Community College on Friday, December 1, at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Lancers host North Platte Community College on December 2 at 2 p.m.
“We are definitely looking forward to being home this weekend and getting back out there and trying to get back our winning ways,” Larsen said.