Superior three-point shooting lifted the Lady Roadrunners to comfortable leads throughout the game in Wednesday’s contest against Crowder College. However, State Fair women’s basketball saw those leads nearly erased twice before a strong fourth quarter ensured an 86-70 home victory.
The Lady Roadrunners were 12-for-20 from beyond the arc. Sierra Clayborn led the team with 22 points and was 4 of 5 from long-range.
Head coach Kevin Bucher said his team played a little out of character Wednesday’s victory.
“Usually we’re a transition, fast-break, pressure full-court defense,” Bucher said. “Usually we do a much better job of defensive rebounding. We can build big leads and we can drop leads and we can raise them with threes really fast.”
Three minutes into the game, Crowder’s Baylee Tanner drained a 3-pointer from the corner. Zhanesha Dickerson responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession to make the score 10-5. Dickerson finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
Alexis Cowan made two 3-pointers with two minutes to play in the first quarter to push the State Fair lead to 22-15.
Kadesha Cooper sank a jumper from the elbow to begin the second quarter. Cori Williams continued an 11-4 Lady Roughrider run with a layup and tied the score at 26. State Fair responded with a 13-2 run, and entered halftime leading 39-26.
Both teams opened the second half flat-footed. After Clayborn three, State Fair turned the ball over on a mix-up on the inbounds pass. Roana Peterson was called for a double-dribble bringing the ball to half court one minute later.
Clayborn scored on a turnaround jumper in the post to give the Lady Roadrunners their largest lead of the night at 56-40.
State Fair (17-3) saw their 16-point lead nearly slip away in the third quarter. The Lady Roughriders outscored SFCC 28-19 and trailed by two going into the final quarter.
Bucher said Crowder’s guards drove into the lane too easily.
“They quite a bit,” Bucher said. “They were on the free-throw line several more times than us. Usually we play better defense, and tonight we let them drive too much.”
Again, the three-point shot helped the Lady Roadrunners escape the Crowder run. Clayborn and Danai’ Cole made threes from opposite corners on consecutive possessions.
Tanner would keep Crowder College alive. She completed the 3-point play on a fast-break layup to make the score 69-64. Tanner finished with 25 points and scored 11 from the charity stripe.
Clayborn and Tu Tu Williams fueled a 10-0 State Fair run in the latter half of the final quarter. Williams ended the Lady Roughrider scoring drought and made the score 79-67 after a steal and 3-pointer.
State Fair visits Mineral Area College Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-530-0142 or [email protected]