The Crowder Lady Roughriders put their foot to the accelerator harder than Fred Flintstone early on Saturday afternoon against the North Arkansas Lady Pioneers at Bob Sneller Gymnasium.
Crowder scored the game’s first seven points and led 13-2 and 16-3 on a NJCAA Division II nationally-ranked opponent.
The Lady ‘Riders scored 25 points in the first quarter, but the foot went off the pedal more often the rest of the way as Crowder earned a 69-56 win.
“We might have been in the lead all the way,” Crowder head coach Tina Wilson said, “but I never felt that we necessarily in control the whole game. It wasn’t comfortable. I thought we got off to a great start, but I felt like we took our foot off the gas pedal so to speak. They played well, came back, and they did all that in the first quarter with (Hannah) Villines on the bench, who’s a fantastic player.
“We’ve told our kids that you’ve got to put teams away, quit letting them hang around. I don’t think we played bad, I don’t think we played great, we played somewhere in the middle and obviously played well enough to win. I thought we did a great job of playing through the adversity.
“Second half, defensively, we did a good job, they’re a very talented team and to hold them to under 60 points says a lot for our defense. That’s something we’ve been harping on, defensive rebounding. I thought we did a good job of those two things.”
Crowder freshman Alex Vogt attacked Villines almost right from the start and picked up the first foul against Villines only 13 seconds into the contest and then the second 26 seconds later. Villines did not return until the second quarter.
Then, in the second half, Villines picked up her third personal only 21 seconds in and then Crowder freshmen Bethaney Gilkey and Maegan Bandimere stepped in to take charges against Villines, fouling her out with 6 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
Just 29 seconds earlier, North Arkansas forward Maya Hood fouled out.
“What we tell our kids is that she’s a talented player (Villines),” Wilson said. “She’s going to score points. Last time we played them, I thought Coley Ickes did a great job on her and she still had 27 points. So, what we said was that she can’t score or rebound from the bench. Our plan was that we want to attack her defensively. Of course, we went right at her off the bat and she picked up her second foul 40 seconds into the game, then that was a big help for us. We may have relaxed a little bit too much with her on the bench and they do have other talented players.”
Villines finished Saturday with 11 points and Hood added 10 for the Lady Pioneers.
Crowder worked around foul trouble to key players Vogt and Zahria White. Vogt scored the game’s first five points, but she picked up her third foul 6:47 before halftime and then her fourth with 6:00 remaining in the third.
The Lady ‘Riders were led by Morgan Crawford’s 14 points and then White added 12 and Bandimere 10 for three players in double figures. Elle Williams added nine off the bench, Coley Ickes hit for eight, and Michaela Mack scored all six of her points in the second half.
Shelby Roder also had 11 points for North Arkansas and Grace Coates added 10 more.
Crowder swept a home-and-home with North Arkansas (14-6) this season and the Lady ‘Riders improved to 17-7 overall and 10-1 in games played at Bob Sneller. The Lady ‘Riders already have five more wins than all of last season.
Crowder plays its next three games all inside Bob Sneller — Thursday against St. Louis, Saturday against Mineral Area, and Wednesday against State Fair.
CROWDER 69, NORTH ARKANSAS 56
North Arkansas 17 12 16 11 — 56
Crowder 25 14 16 14 — 69
NORTH ARKANSAS (14-6) — Hannah Villines 11, Shelby Roder 11, Maya Hood 10, Grace Coates 10, Kyra Kahn 7, Ashlyn Taylor 5, Morgan Clemence 2.
CROWDER (17-7) — Morgan Crawford 14, Zahria White 12, Maegan Bandimere 10, Elle Williams 9, Coley Ickes 8, Michaela Mack 6, Alex Vogt 5, Bethaney Gilkey 3, Tori Coulter 2.
3-point goals — North Arkansas 5 (Roder 3, Kahn, Taylor), Crowder 5 (Bandimere 2, Crawford 2, Williams).