Barber, Ventling lead College of Southern Idaho to rout of Blinn College, 75-52
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kandiss Barber scored a game-high 18 points, and the College of Southern Idaho dominated in its first game of the 2016 NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, running away from Blinn College early for a 75-52 victory Wednesday at the Rip Griffin Center.
Matti Ventling added 14 points for the Golden Eagles (29-4), who advance to the Elite 8 to face New Mexico Junior College on Thursday at 5 p.m. CDT with a shot at the final four on the line. The Golden Eagles showed no ill effects from a three-week layoff between winning their regional tournament and their opening game of the national tournament.
“We made shots today, and when you make shots you give yourself a chance,” Southern Idaho coach Randy Rogers said. “I’m always proud of these guys. We could be the worst practice team, the worst shoot-around team and I feel bad, people thinking how are they going to compete? They play hard when the moment steps up and presents itself.”
Brianna Ororio, Samantha Lubcke and Tori Anderson chipped in 10 points apiece for Southern Idaho.
The Golden Eagles dominated both in the paint and on the perimeter. Down low, Southern Idaho outrebounded the Lady Buccaneers 57-28, including a 20-7 mark in offensive rebounds it used to outscore Blinn (26-9) 30-20 in the paint.
On the outside, the Golden Eagles drained nine 3-pointers while holding Blinn to just 30.6 percent (19 of 62) from the field. That allowed Southern Idaho to race out to a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and cruise from there.
“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Blinn head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “I’m not saying we would have won but I would have liked for us to play better, and this is not typical of the way we play. We don’t get outrebounded 57-28. The first quarter and third quarter we gave up too many points and didn’t finish possessions our rebound. I just wish we would have come out in our last game and played a little better.”
Ebony Parker led Blinn with 18 points while Ekiya Gray added 12 points and Bryanna Taylor chipped in 10 in the losing effort.
Behind the early shooting of Barber the Golden Eagles got out to a quick start. Barber scored six of her nine first-half points in the game’s first three minutes, leading Southern Idaho to a quick 8-1 lead.
From there the quarter became a 3-point barrage with each team draining three from beyond the arc in the opening 10 minutes. But Southern Idaho was able to add enough inside – outscoring Blinn 10-2 in the paint – to lead 24-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The Golden Eagles maintained that lead and used a 9-2 run midway through the second to take complete control of the game, going up 39-22 with just under two minutes left in the first half. It was such a big lead that Blinn closed the quarter with five straight points but still trailed by 12 going into halftime.
The Lady Buccaneers struggled from the floor, shooting just 26.3 percent (5 of 19) in the first quarter and 31.3 percent (10 of 32) for the first half. Ebony Parker led Blinn with 13 first-half points, but the rest of the team managed just 14 combined.
Tori Anderson, who had two of Southern Idaho’s six first-half 3-pointers, led the Golden Eagles with 10 points while Barber had nine points and nine rebounds. Southern Idaho outrebounded Blinn 29-17 in the first half.
Southern Idaho kept the foot on the gas in the second half. After allowing Blinn to score the first four points of the third quarter, the Golden Eagles scored the next 12 to take a 55-33 lead and never looked back.