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WNCC men's, women's basketball teams down Otero
 February 16, 2013

LA JUNTA, Colo. --- The Western Nebraska Community College men's and women's basketball teams picked up important South Sub-Region wins on Friday over Otero Junior College.
The No. 23 WNCC women received a double-double from Gritt Ryder with 21 points and 11 rebounds in posting the 58-47 win.
The men received a double-double from Quante Cooley of 12 points and 12 rebounds in giving the Rattlers their first sub-region loss, 78-69.
WNCC coach Russ Beck said his team played with lots of composure in the contest to get the important win that moves them to 4-8 in conference play.
"Our defense was really good and we got stops when we need to," he said. "They have not lost at home in the sub-region and they were 9-1 at home coming in. We are starting to play our best ball right now."
The key for the Cougars was that they jumped out to a 20-5 lead and led 44-34 at halftime after Tahir Little hit a near half court shot at the buzzer. In the second half, the Rattlers sliced the lead to one point with about 10 minutes to play, but this time the Cougars held their composure and fought to the end to get the win.
WNCC shot the ball really well, hitting on 48 percent from the field compared to 34 percent for the Rattlers. WNCC also sizzled from the 3-point area, connecting on 43 percent while Otero was 23 percent. The Cougars also hit their free throws, going 14 of 18 from the line for 82 percent.
WNCC had four players finish in double figures. Cooley had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds, but the team was led by Cody Johnson, who poured in 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Johnson had 19 points at halftime.
Also hitting double digits were Charles Ward with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Little had 12 points.
For the ladies, the win pushed the team to within one win of winning the South Sub-Region and hosting the regional tournament that begins March 3.
Assistant coach Ipek Turkyilmaz said they only shot 28 percent in the first half but heated up both offensively and defensively in the second half, shooting 39 percent. They also connected on five 3-pointers on the night. Ryder was 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, while Brower was 1 of 3. Brower leads the nation in 3-point shooting at 54.2 percent.
Brower and Stevens joined Ryder in double digits with 11 points each. Aratani pitched in eight points and seven rebounds.
Both WNCC teams will be back in action today when they travel to Trinidad State Junior College.

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