SEMINOLE, Okla. — Sporting a team full of fresh faces, the Crowder women's basketball team began its quest to return to the NJCAA National Tournament, where the Lady Riders finished in the Sweet 16 a year ago, on Friday.
The Lady 'Riders, however, hit an early speed bump, suffering a 72-54 setback at Seminole College.
A tough first half in which Crowder gave up too many rebounds and was plagued by turnovers saw Seminole build a commanding 42-26 lead. Crowder would fight back to pull within 10 points with eight minutes left in regulation, but Seminole would go on another late tear to close it out.
"The two biggest issues for us were we gave up too many second chance points on offensive rebounds, and turnovers," Crowder coach Tina Robbins said. "The bright spot for us is that our kids played hard. Obviously, we have things to correct."
The Lady 'Riders, who sport a short bench with only nine players on the squad, struggled late when three players fouled out — Dorian Briggs (Fort Smith, Ark.), Ariana Gallegos (Kyle, Tex.) and Mariana Silva (Sao Palo, Brazil).
Tah-lor Washington led Seminole with 20 points, while Jordan Williams added 11, Layton Hurley and Megan Acklin nine, Rachel Block six, Whitney Stotler five, Reagan Widener four and Brittany Hill, Mya Tramble, Shaletha Clark and Georgia Smart had two.
Briggs, Crowder's only holdover from last season's Sweet 16 squad, led the team with 25 points before fouling out.
Tae'lor Monroe (Las Vegas, Nev.) followed with five points, while Thays Barbosa (Goiana, Brazil), Silva and Gallegos scored four each and Courtney Jones (Tahlequah, Okla.), Katie Hughes (Purdy, Mo.), Tiffany Rhame (Farmington, Ark.) and Lori Kleier (Hurley, Mo.) scored three apiece.