WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Odessa College inches closer to WJCAC title with win over Howard College

Feb. 29—Odessa College kept its hopes alive for a WJCAC regular season title with a dominating 65-33 win over Howard College Thursday at the OC Sports Center.

It was the final home game of the regular season for the No. 10-ranked Lady Wranglers who improved to 26-3 overall, 12-1 in WJCAC.

Odessa College is now tied with New Mexico Junior College for first place in the WJCAC standings with one conference game remaining for both teams.

Howard College moved to 13-16, 2-11.

"I feel like there are some things we could've done a little bit better with but our conference is tough and I'm glad that we were able to show up and play the way we were supposed to play," Odessa College head coach Franqua Bedell said.

The Lady Wranglers were led in scoring by Ivana Krajina's 28 points. She was the only Odessa College player to score in double figures.

"She's been consistent for us all year and making plays," Bedell said. "I'm proud that she's been able to finish out her career at this place on the right note. I'm looking forward to seeing her in the regional and national tournaments."

Mariam Sanogo had eight points while Aisha Amaral Dos Santos had seven for the Lady Wranglers.

Howard College was led by Elysa Martinez's eight points while Jada Torrence had seven and Lacy Rice finished with five.

Both teams traded baskets to begin the first quarter as the game was tied at seven with 3:18 left.

The Lady Wranglers led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Odessa College started to pull away, using an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter.

Krajina's 3-pointer from the right side of the floor gave the Lady Wranglers a 25-9 lead with 6:09 remaining.

She would sink another outside shot to put her team ahead by 20 at the 4:41 mark.

The Lady Wranglers' lead was 37-13 at the half.

Odessa College would easily cruise through the third quarter, building a 50-21 lead heading into the fourth.

A transition basket by Chelsy Bautista made it 52-23 with 7:49 left.

Odessa College remained in control throughout the final quarter.

Mariam Sanogo went to the line where she made both free throws with 1:40 left and the Lady Wranglers had a 64-33 advantage.

Odessa College will close out its regular season with a 5:45 p.m. contest against South Plains College Monday in Levelland.

"We have to be on top of them," Bedell said. "We have to take care of the basketball. The whole conference is tough so any win you get is a blessing. We have to be able to do the things that we've been able to do all year long just at a high level."

Howard College will face Frank Phillips College at 5:45 p.m. March 7 in Big Spring.