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Defense Sets Tone for CAC Women In 85-66 win

Kiara Knox in another tussle vs West Coast Wings Academy
Kiara Knox in another tussle vs West Coast Wings Academy

Defense sets the tone for CAC women in 85-66 win
By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer Nov 15, 2017 Updated Nov 16, 2017 (0)

SIGNAL PEAK — A suffocating defensive effort in the early going set the tone for the Central Arizona College women's basketball team in an 85-66 victory over West Coast Academy.

The Vaqueras (3-2) held the Wings scoreless for nearly 4½ minutes at the outset of Wednesday night's game at the George Young Activity Center, building an 11-0 lead in the process. West Coast went 0 for 6 from the field with six turnovers before finally getting on the board with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.

Central led by as many as 31 points before the Wings closed the game with a 16-4 run.

"They have some really good athletes, but because they were low in numbers (West Coast dressed six players), we wanted to press them the entire game," CAC coach Denise Cardenas said.

The Vaqueras held the Wings to 32 percent shooting in the first half and 40 percent overall (29 of 72). Central converted 21 turnovers into 19 points, scoring 10 points off seven turnovers in the third quarter.

Kendra Butler provided 22 points, getting 14 in the first half, and Kiara Knox netted 12 of her 18 points in the second half for the Vaqueras, who were up 25-14 after one quarter, 43-28 at halftime and 67-39 after three. Kaosarat Onikoyi scored 11 points off the bench, getting seven in the first quarter.

CAC shot 50 percent in the second half and 45 percent overall (38 of 84).

"When we run our stuff, when we cut hard and look for the shots that are our strengths, we can be tough," Cardenas said. "Tonight we gained a little more experience and got a little bit better."

Ahead by 15 at halftime, the Vaqueras began the third quarter by going 6 for 7 from the field. West Coast went 2 for 7 from the floor with six turnovers on its first 12 possessions of the period as Central extended its lead to 61-32 with 4:10 left.

Jamie Young's second-chance basket sent CAC to a 31-point lead (65-34) with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter. The Vaqueras matched that margin on five occasions in the fourth, the last time at 81-50 on Zhane Lewis' basket with 4:53 to play.

Butler scored eight points in the second quarter, making baskets on three consecutive possessions to put the Vaqueras up 37-24 with 3:10 left. The Wings began the period with an 8-0 run to pull within 25-22, but CAC answered with a 13-4 surge.

Knox had 10 points in the third period.

Central outscored the Wings 17-9 in second-chance points.

West Coast's point total was a season low for a CAC opponent.

Djeneba Sangare was the leading scorer for the Wings with 22 points, followed by Salimatou Kourouma with 16 and Awa Sidibe with 14.

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