Jan. 14—In basketball, games can be decided by how mentally tough the teams competing are.
Adding in the aspect of a rivalry game can increase the pressure each player is feeling.
The Odessa College women's basketball team felt that pressure in its 67-61 loss to rival Midland College in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play Thursday at the OC Sports Center.
"We're not mentally tough enough right now," Odessa College women's coach Franqua Bedell said. "A little bit of adversity and we kind of start to fold."
Bedell felt that his team, consisting of nine freshmen, hasn't experienced the same amount of adversity that players on the Midland College roster have played through.
That was instrumental for the Lady Chaps to find a favorable outcome.
Midland College was quick in its approach through the first quarter, responding in prompt fashion any time the Lady Wranglers looked to make a dent in its lead.
It took Odessa College a while to figure out how to get past the defensive scheme of the Lady Chaps, but things started taking a positive turn for the home team as the clock wound down in the opening period.
With Midland College leading by eight points, Odessa College outscored the Lady Chaps 6-2 to start the second quarter on a strong note.
Physicality helped the Lady Wranglers gain an edge to jump ahead on the scoreboard before halftime.
Odessa College was able to close out the second quarter converting 53% of its shots and that was kickstarted by hard drives to the basket from Taya Davis and Lala Niankan.
Davis and Niankan combined for 17 points as the Lady Wranglers held a two-point advantage at the end of the first half.
The efficient shooting wouldn't last, as Odessa College connected on 3-of-18 attempts and was outscored 20-6 through the third period.
Odessa College closed out the game with a strong effort, but it wasn't enough to overcome the lead the Lady Chaps had built.
"Third quarter, we weren't mentally strong enough but I thought the fourth quarter and the second quarter, we kind of dominated them a little bit," Bedell said. "We didn't sustain it and that's been a problem all year."
The Lady Wranglers (4-12 overall, 1-3 conference) were looking for their second-straight win in WJCAC play after defeating Western Texas College on Jan. 6.
Odessa College will continue conference play against Frank Phillips College at 3:45 p.m. Monday in Borger.
Midland College 67, Odessa College 61
Midland College (14-4, 5-1)
Teanna Huggins 2-4 0-0 4, Makayla Escue 3-7 4-4 10, Kim Schrama 1-5 0-0 2, Dana Thompson 6-14 3-3 15, Bella Green 6-13 1-2 14, Marin Lenz 7-10 0-0 15, Nikki Sainsbury 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Galvin 1-5 4-6 7. Totals 26-58 12-15 67.
Odessa College (4-12, 1-3)
Jessie Dai 2-8 0-0 6, Nahawa Diarra Berthe 8-12 2-5 19, Lala Niankan 4-15 3-4 11, Taya Davis 4-8 4-7 15, Isamery Aramonte 2-9 0-0 5, Stephanie Hubard 0-0 0-0 0, Drea Betts 0-3 0-0 0, Marchelle Bowden 2-9 0-0 5. Totals 22-64 9-16 61.
Midland College...... 23.. 13 20 11 — 67
Odessa College...... 19.. 19 6 17 — 61
3-Point goals — Midland College 3-13 (Schrama 0-2, Thompson 0-2, Green 1-2, Lenz 1-4, Galvin 1-3), Odessa College 8-29 (Dai 2-6, Berthe 1-1, Niankan 0-4, Davis 3-5, Aramonte 1-5, Betts 0-3, Bowden 1-5). Total fouls — Midland College 14, Odessa College 17. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None. Rebounds — Midland College 37 (Thompson 14), Odessa College 32 (Niankan 11). Assists — Midland College 12 (Huggins 4), Odessa College 13 (Davis 4).