By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
The No. 4 TVCC Lady Cardinals outlasted a talented Odessa College squad Tuesday night, 70-64, hitting 12-of-14 free throws in the final four minutes and holding Odessa scoreless in the final two.
The Lady Cards trailed the No. 23-ranked Lady Wranglers by 2 points with 4:00 left in the fourth quarter.
Now that doesn’t happen often, particularly in a home game prior to Thanksgiving. Then again the Lady Cards don’t usually get to play a nationally-ranked team on a hot streak this early.
But that’s what they saw Tuesday night and it took a big defensive effort down the stretch to put the Lady Wranglers away.
“Odessa is ranked and just came off winning the WNIT Tournament (in Midland) on Saturday,” said TVCC Coach Gerald Ewing. “And the teams they beat on Saturday were all ranked.”
It didn’t help that the Lady Cards were short-handed Tuesday night because of injuries.
“We were missing three players,” said Ewing.
TVCC also struggled with foul trouble — and, in all fairness, so did Odessa. The referees were very quick with their whistles all night resulting in Lady Cardinal Arleighshya McElroy spending much of the second half on the bench with four fouls.
But she returned late and scored seven of TVCC’s final 12 point.
McElroy finished with 16 points. Curtessia Dean led the Lady Cards with 21 and Tra’dayja Smith had 14. Dajaah Lightfoot had 6, Jnaya Walker 5, and Jennifer Parker and Ka’lerra Reed both had 4 to finish out the scoring for TVCC.
Next up for the Lady Cardinals is Independence Community College Friday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. The game is part of TVCC’s annual Budke/Serna Thanksgiving Classic at Cardinal Gym.
Games are scheduled Friday and Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.
Here is Friday’s schedule:
- 11 a.m. – South Plains vs. Grayson
- 1 p.m. – Panola vs. Garden City
- 3 p.m. – TVCC vs. Independence
- 5 p.m. – Hill vs. New Mexico
Here is Saturday’s schedule:
- 11 a.m. – Garden City vs. South Plains
- 1 p.m. – New Mexico vs. Panola
- 3 p.m. – Grayson vs. Independence
- 5 p.m. – TVCC vs. Hill