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WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Lady Wranglers survive close game against Western Texas College

Feb. 22—The Odessa College women's basketball team survived a scare from Western Texas College with a 70-65 win in conference play Thursday at the OC Sports Center.

With the victory, the No. 9-ranked Lady Wranglers moved to 24-3 overall, 10-1 in WJCAC.

Western Texas College fell to 11-13, 3-8.

Despite the difference in both teams' records, it was the second time the Lady Westerners gave the Lady Wranglers a run for their money.

The last meeting resulted in a close 71-66 win for Odessa College back on Jan. 22 in Snyder.

"They made shots tonight and we could never get in a rhythm on defense or offense," Odessa College head coach Franqua Bedell said. "We got into a rhythm in the fourth quarter to get the win. We figured out how to get through it tonight."

Odessa College was led in scoring by Sarengbe Sanogo's 16 points while Destinee Barnes had 14 and Ivana Krajina had 12.

Western Texas College was led in scoring by Briana Montoya who had 24 points while Alyssa Hutterer had 15 and Alliah Scallion had 14.

"Coming into this game, Odessa College is a good program and Bedell has done a great job," Western Texas College head coach Rachel Eubank said. "We're in the toughest conference in the nation. I told our girls that we have to come in and play loose and if we're not having fun, we don't. We came in with an open mind and an open heart and put some things together."

The Lady Wranglers got off to a promising start, taking a 12-9 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter.

However, the Lady Westerners went on a 5-0 run to take a two-point lead.

It was Western Texas College ahead 17-16 at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Wranglers led 26-24 with 4:45 left in the second quarter.

A 3-pointer by Montoya put Western Texas College ahead 30-28 with 2:30 to go.

Free throws by Deborha Oladina gave the Lady Westerners a 32-29 lead with 1:37 remaining.

Alice Meuniere's layup brought the Lady Wranglers to a one-point deficit shortly after.

Free throws by Destinee Barnes gave the hosts a 33-32 lead heading into halftime.

Both teams continued to trade baskets to start the second half and the Lady Wranglers had a 39-36 lead with 7:37 left in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by Montoya gave the Lady Westerners a 45-43 advantage with 3:11 remaining.

Free throws by Chelsy Bautista tied the game up at 45 with 2:05 to go.

Both teams were tied at 48 heading into the fourth.

The Lady Westerners began the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer by Jasmin Holt to take the lead and the Lady Wranglers called a timeout.

Sanogo's free throws put Odessa College ahead 53-51 with 7:23 to go.

The Lady Wranglers' scoring surge continued and Odessa College took a 59-54 lead off a jump shot by Krajina with 4:33 left.

Western Texas College wouldn't go away, however, as a basket by Hutterer and a foul sent her to the line where she made the and-one to bring her team to a 63-59 deficit with three minutes to go.

She made a 3-pointer just five seconds later to make it a one-point game.

Tia Shelling missed two late free throws before making up for it by sinking an inside shot while drawing a foul with 1:01 to go and a three-point lead.

Shelling made the charity to give her team a precious 66-62 advantage.

The Lady Westerners responded with a quick layup by Holt.

Barnes was sent to the line with 24 seconds left and she made both shots to give Odessa College a 68-64 lead.

Holt went 1-of-2 from a late trip to the free throw line, bringing the Lady Westerners to a 68-65 deficit with 15 seconds left.

Odessa College burned 13 seconds off the game clock before Krajina drew a foul and was sent to the line where she easily made both shots and the Lady Wranglers escaped with a 70-65 win.

"We've been through some adversity through the year and I think that helps us but at the same time, some players made some plays at the end and that helps," Bedell said. "We still have to be better."

Odessa College will next face Clarendon College at 5:45 p.m. Monday in Clarendon.

"That's always a tough place to play," Bedell said. "Their coach does a good job. It's a tough venue. There's a good crowd there. We have to have a better mentality than we did tonight."