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WNCC women topple Casper 56-50 behind Ryder's 25 points
 January 27, 2013

CASPER, Wyo. – Gritt Ryder scored 25 points and the Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team used another stellar defensive effort in posting a 56-50 win over Casper College Saturday afternoon in Casper, Wyo.
Ryder said that this was a huge win for the team as they battled tooth and nail in getting the win.
“This win was huge for us,” the sophomore from Denmark said. “We knew Casper wanted to do everything that they could do to beat us.”
Defense definitely played a huge part in the Cougars win over the Thunderbirds. Casper led just once in the game at 38-35 after a string of technical foul shots gave them the lead. The lead was short lived as Laurin Rivera nailed a 3-pointer and Jessica Aratani had an old-fashioned 3-point play and the Cougars were back in front to stay.
“Our defense was really good,” Ryder said. “It was important for us to get a good start and we did pretty good. Then, when they made the run with the technicals, we were like this cannot run out from underneath of us. So, we stayed together as a team and did our normal business and pulled out the win.”
A big key for the Cougars was making runs and stopping the Thunderbirds in putting together six or more point runs. WNCC led 11-2 to start the contest on eight points by Ryder. Casper came back to tie the game at 15-15 but the Cougars came back as Kelsey Doddridge and Ryder each buried 3-pointers. WNCC led 30-22 at halftime.
The second half saw Casper come back to take a 38-36 lead on four technical foul shots. WNCC then led by 49-42 on an Ashley Stevens bucket. Casper fought back, slicing the lead to 52-50 before Ryder hit a jumper from the free throw line with 35 seconds to play and then sealed the win with two free throws with 22 seconds to play.
Ryder said this team continues rolling along and wouldn’t trade this team for anything.
“We find ways to win and I just love this team,” she said. “We have such good chemistry on the team and on the court. We know what it takes to work hard because Coach [Dave] Harnish preaches about that every day in practice.”

The Cougars had just two players in double figures. Ryder led all scorers with 25 points, seven rebounds and eight steals. Aratani pitched in 13 points, followed by Stevens and Rivera each with five points.
               The Cougars will return to action on Tuesday when they face Northeastern Junior College at Sterling, Colo., in a South Sub-Region contest. After that, WNCC will be off until Feb. 8 when they host Lamar Community College.

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