Cards slay Dragons in record-setting fashion
Women improve to 3-2 on the season, junior guard sets assist record
December 3, 2007 —
The first half of Saturday's victory against Tiffin saw the women's basketball team look as dominating as they've been all season one minute, only to allow the Dragons back within striking distance the next.
Starting the game off on an 11-0 run, the Cards looked like they'd run away with things early. However, the Dragons responded with an 11-4 run of their own.
"Eventually we knew they were going to settle in and start hitting shots," senior guard Brittany Burns said. "In our mind we knew we would have to respond. Coach told us 'when they settle in, just answer.'"
Behind strong scoring halves from Burns, and senior forward Latille Ross - who was a perfect 5-5 from the field - the Cardinals were able to keep distance between themselves and Tiffin.
"For whatever reason, I don't think Tiffin defended Latille Ross very well," Coach Vonnie Killmer said. "I don't think they realized how good of an offensive player she is. I told her 'look, they're not guarding you, step up and make some shots.'
"Brittany has been our leader all year offensively," Killmer said of her junior guard. "She's been our leader points wise for most of our games."
With time winding down in the first, the Dragons had come back within six, but a buzzer beating three pointier from senior guard Kara Kinzer - her second first half buzzer-beating jumper in as many games - allowed the Cards to go into half time with a comfortable 34-25 lead.
"That was so crucial," Burns said of Kinzer's three-pointer. "There is a big difference between a six point lead and a nine point lead going into half time. It gave us the momentum."
"It's huge. It gives you lift emotionally," said Killmer. "Being up by nine as apposed to six is a huge thing coming out of the half, confidence-wise."
The Cardinals jumped out early again in the second half, and wouldn't look back. Their lead would reach as much as 19, before finishing off the Dragons 65-50.
"We have struggled our last few games to stay within our offense," Killmer said. "We did that better going into the second half."
"We had to realize they were going to make adjustments, and still make them play our game," Burns said. "A lot of times when teams try to make a run we get rattled and we start playing out of control. What was key for us was to not change anything and keep playing our game."
Much of the teams offense flowed through junior guard Tricia Everett, who set the Cards' single game assist record with 15. She also recorded four steals and five rebounds, and added four points.
"If your point guard is leading you in scoring, you're probably not winning a lot of games," Killmer said. "Tricia with 15 assists was huge today."
"Tricia is so vital. When she's out of the game it's like the machine stops moving," Burns said.
Burns would finish with her first double-double of the season, with a team high 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Ross went 10-14 from the field, with 20 points and six rebounds, and Kinzer totalled 12 points on the night.
The Cardinals will take their 3-2 (0-1 GLIAC) record on a three game road trip, which starts this week when they travel to GVSU on Thursday, and to Hillsdale on Saturday. Tip off for Thursday is scheduled for 6 p.m., and for 1 p.m. on Saturday. Killmer says her team will need to continue playing hard and improve against conference foes for it to have success.
"If we want to be in the hunt for this thing, we've just got to keep playing better."