MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- Dominance from start to finish.
The Wabash Valley College Lady Warriors crushed Rend Lake by the tune of 115-37 on Wednesday night, a Pink Out Night as fans and athletes donned pink attire in Mount Carmel, Ill.
There wasn't much the opposing Lady Warriors could do to stop Wabash Valley tonight. Even with freshman Shi Banks out with a knee injury and freshman big Pearl Dean hobbled with an ailing knee of her own, WVC cruised.
WVC opened the game on a 21-0 run, which felt sort of foreshadowing for the remainder of the game.
With their press in full swing, head coach Jack Trosper's team was in full control. They forced a total of 33 (!!) Rend Lake turnovers in the game, which helped lead the Lady Warriors to a 62-12 halftime lead.
Wabash Valley called off their press in the second half but it mattered little. The game was well out of reach and WVC continued to execute their halfcourt sets and expand the lead.
"Great," coach Trosper spoke on what he thought of his second half sets. "Some things that have bitten us a little bit is our ability to not foul when we're just played regular half-court defense and things. I think these last two games we've done a much better job of staying aggressive defensively, staying with our principles and then not allowing to get to the free throw line with our ability not to foul. I thought we did good with that and that just comes with having focus and staying locked in."
Coach Trosper allotted assistant coach Tara Arnold the opportunity to command Wabash Valley for the remainder of the game, giving his first-year assistant some big game experience managing the ladies.
As the game ended, Wabash Valley had dominated it in every facet possible. A 59 to 28 rebounding advantage, a 27 to eight assist to turnover ratio, 72 points in the paint, 40 points off turnovers, oh, and a 78-point victory.
Six Lady Warriors registered double-digits scoring on the night, led by freshman Keya Patton's 19-point, 80 percent shooting night. Following Patton was sophomore Dazha Congleton scoring 18 points and grabbing nine boards, freshman KK White scoring 14 boards and securing seven rebounds, sophomore Marie Hunter with a stat-stuffing 14-point, seven assist, six steal night, Alexis Thomas scoring 12 points, and Dean registering a 10-point, 10 rebound double-double.
Coach Trosper didn't have much to dislike tonight. It felt like a complete performance from start to finish against an outmatched team. They handled business and once again justified their No. 3 national ranking.
"I thought it was a complete win today," coach Trosper said. "I thought our girls played hard for the full 40 minutes and I thought our bench gave us a lot of energy and depth. I thought especially in the second half we stayed focused and kept playing hard. When you have a score like we had at halftime it can be easy to just relax a little bit but I liked our energy and effort in the second half still so that was good to see."
The Lady Warriors (23-0) will now have a rematch with Lake Land. WVC narrowly defeated the Lady Lakers in their first meeting back on Jan. 9 at Lake Land. They went nearly a month without a game prior to the first meeting, which may have caused some rust. They appear focused on the task of showing their dominance in the GRAC against the second ranked (in the GRAC) Lady Lakers.
"I've heard it between the girls," coach Trosper said. "That's a game they're all excited for and understanding that that was a game that was closer than it probably should have been. So I think our girls will be ready to go for that. Lake Land's a quality team, they're going to be ready to go. They're No. 13 in D-II. They're a good team, they're one of the better teams in our league despite them being D-II. Currently they're in second place in the GRAC. It's going to be a great challenge but I think our girls are ready for it."
"I expect us to continue doing the things we've been doing," sophomore Ryan Jones said. "Everyday in practice we focus on doing the little things that we've been doing, so that's what we expect to do."
The game against Lake Land is slated for a 4 p.m. tip-off on Saturday and it'll be Sophomore Night, as the Lady Warriors honor their sophomores.
WVC - 34 28 33 20 -- 115
RL - 8 4 10 15 -- 37