On a night when both teams struggled at times to shoot the ball, the State Fair womens basketball team got enough shots to fall in the fourth quarter to beat Butler Community College 66-56 on Monday at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
With the win, the Lady Roadrunners avenge their only loss of the season. They fell to the Grizzlies 66-33 on Nov. 2 in El Dorado, Kansas.
“Our shots were falling better and we were just working a lot harder,” said guard Danae’ Cole. “We came out with a lot of heat from that loss that we had and that helped us want to win a lot more and we showed it on the court for everybody to see.”
The game was tied 42-42 heading into the fourth and a series of trips to the free throw line for both teams put State Fair up 47-46 until Alexis Cowan hit the first field goal of the quarter for either team, a layup with 5:00 left off a Sierra Clayborn steal.
“We were just so much stagnant where we weren’t moving the ball that much,” said SFCC coach Kevin Bucher. “They spread that zone out and there were a lot of lanes and that’s where we got a lot of free throws in the first half. All of a sudden we’ll start to clam up and not look at those seams. We have good ball-handlers that can take it on the drive. We just go through ruts some times.”
Kiante Johnson followed Cowan’s basket with a lay up with an and-one. TuTu Williams then hit a pair of baskets in the paint before SFCC scored its final eight points of the night from the free throw line.
For the game, State Fair shot 40 free throws, hitting 30 of them. Williams was 11 of 13 from the free throw line. With trouble at times hitting from the field, Cole said the Lady Roadrunners were looking to get to the line by “just driving as hard as we can, getting fouled when we go in, finishing and-ones.”
State Fair got off to a quick start with Sierra Clayborn hitting 3-pointers from the corner on back-to-back trips to make it 6-1. SFCC led by as many as 12-1 and Butler did not hit its first field goal of the game until 40 seconds left in the first quarter, but by that point the Lady Roadrunners’ offense had stalled as well and SFCC led 14-7 after one.
In the second quarter, Clayborn hit a 3-pointer, Cole hit a lay up and Johnson scored on a putback to make it 23-11. Another 3-pointer by Cole late in the second made it 31-21 State Fair at halftime.
They Lady Roadrunners hit four 3-pointers in the first half but missed all 10 they attempted in the second half, shooting 16 percent for the game behind the arc.
“Right now we haven’t hit the threes and a lot of it, it’s just the timing where they feel comfortable shooting,” Bucher said. “We have our shooting three drills, they shoot them at a pretty good clip, but it’s not the same when you hurry up and rush and get the ball.”
State Fair made just two shots from the field in the third quarter, both in the paint, as Butler stormed back to tie the game.
Williams led State Fair with 15 points. Clayborn had 14, Johnson had 12 and Cole added 11.
The Lady Roadrunners will face North Iowa in the Ellsworth Community College Classic in Iowa Falls on Friday.