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McCook Community College Logo on the left with the words McCook community college basketball womens on the right

No. 8 Thunderbirds claim 80-61 win over MCC women

McCook Community College Logo on the left with the words McCook community college basketball womens on the right

HOBBS, N.M. – The eighth-ranked New Mexico Junior College women collected an 80-61 win Saturday over McCook Community College in the New Mexico Junior College Classic Tournament.

The Thunderbirds scored the first 12 points and never trailed taking a 29-16 first-quarter lead.

“Defensively we came out really flat and not mentally ready,” said MCC Coach Brandon Pritchett. “New Mexico JC is good team with size, length and quickness and we just weren't ready from the start.”

NMJC out-rebounded MCC 47-23 including 18 on the offensive end, scored 12 second-chance points compared to none for MCC, and held a 10-2 advantage in fast-break points.

“They are a great offensive rebounding and transition team, and we didn't stop those two things from happening today,” Pritchett said.

MCC shot 40 percent from the field, made six of 19 from the 3-point line (31.6 percent) had four offensive boards and scored 22 points in the paint.

“We need to be more efficient on offense, take better shots, and finish around the rim,” Pritchett said.

Kamelija Ignatova (Probishtip, North Macedonia) came off the bench to lead MCC with 15 points, including a two-for-three showing from the 3-point line. Maite Lara Garcia (Sant Joan Despi, Spain) scored 15 points. Vanessa Jurewicz (Stockholm, Sweden) scored nine points.

“Kamelija played really hard off the bench,” Pritchett said. “We have been talking about her playing with a clear head and keeping her game simple.”

The No. 8 Thunderbirds improve to 6-1 on the season.

“This was good for us to play a top team in the country on the road,” Pritchett said. “We are still down some key pieces, but there was some really good things that came out of today.”

MCC goes to 4-3. Next up is a Nebraska Community College Athletics Conference matchup Tuesday at Columbus against Central Community College starting at 5:30p.m. On Friday MCC heads to Council Bluffs, Iowa for the Iowa Western Thanksgiving Classic taking on Mineral Area College Friday at 5 p.m. and then Saturday will play the hosts at 2 p.m.

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