It wasn't supposed to be this close, considering the two teams' current status. Odessa's Lady Wranglers entered Day 1 of the Panola Classic as the No. 1-ranked women's junior college team in the nation, while the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners aren't even picked to win their conference.
But the scrappy bunch of Lady 'Runners gave the Lady Wranglers all they could handle Thursday night, pulling to within two points in the final minute before falling 71-66 in Carthage.
Desiree Waller scored 14 first-half points on her way to a 17-point night that included three treys. Camille Parks added 10 points; Cassandra Johnson dished out eight assists; and Shanquita Howard pulled down 10 rebounds. Ty Felder added seven points and eight rebounds for the Lady 'Runners.
Odessa got 21 points each from Chandrea Jones and Juanita Ward. After trailing by as many as 23 points in the first half - and hitting just 12 of 30 field-goal attempts while Odessa bombed in seven threes - AC battled back in the second to put themselves in position for the upset. Ty Felder's free throw cut the Lady Wrangler lead to just two at 67-65; however, the Lady Roadrunners were able to convert just two of their final six free-throw attempts - points that would have given AC a late lead - to allow Odessa to escape.
"We have to stop playing from behind," coach Ashley Walker said. "We have to put two good halves together; we feel we can play with anyone, and we proved that tonight. But we have to put our best game together a full 40 minutes.
"Still, overall I thought our girls played very well when it counted. I'm proud of their effort."
AC (3-3) will play again tonight against Weatherford College, with game time set for 5:30 p.m.
AC News Service