This wasn’t what North Idaho College women’s basketball coach Chris Carlson expected – not that he minded one bit.
Two weeks after losing to Dixie State College by 24, NIC dismantled the Rebels 89-71 on Friday at Christianson Gym.
NIC (15-6, 6-3 Scenic West) continued its push for second place in the conference with its eighth win in nine outings. Dixie, which knocked off SWAC leader and No. 2-ranked College of Southern Idaho last week, fell to 14-7, 5-4. Second-place Salt Lake (14-5, 5-2) drubbed Snow.
It was arguably NIC’s best victory of the season to date, especially since it came against a quality opponent. Dixie, which hadn’t lost by double digits all season, trailed by as many as 24 in the second half.
“They jumped on us at their place and had us down 15 right off the bat,” Carlson said. “I’m glad we could come out and do the same thing on our court.”
NIC broke open a tight game with pair of 11-2 runs late in the first half fueled by five 3-pointers, including a pair by Jeni Boesel. Sheena Hinkle’s reverse layup and Jenni Lyman’s three-point play bumped NIC’s lead to 48-34.
The Cardinals opened the second half with eight unanswered points and 13 of the first 15. NIC’s press helped force 26 Dixie turnovers, many of which led to points at the offensive end.
“I made a terrible logistical error on our flight plans,” Dixie coach Dexter Irvin said. “We flew in (Friday afternoon) and we weren’t ready to play, but I’m not taking anything away from North Idaho. They came out ready to play. I thought we were really passive and that’s usually not our style.”
Boesel made four 3-pointers, bumping her season total to 50. She finished with 25 points and seven of NIC’s 14 steals. Sarah Dennehy had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Caitlin Courchaine added 13 points and Sheena Hinkle 10.
“The press helped out a lot and we shot the ball well again,” Carlson said. “They started getting up on our shooters and we started taking it to the rack. I thought Sarah had a great game. She’s so active, she relieves the pressure, takes the ball to the rack and rebounds. She’s just an all-around complete player.”
NIC and Dixie meet again today at 5:30.
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