MIDLAND The Odessa College women’s basketball team took care of business against No. 9-ranked Trinity Valley Community as the Lady Wranglers recorded an 88-79 win over the Lady Cardinals Thursday at the Chaparral Center.
Playing in the first round of the Midland College Women’s National Invitational Tournament, Odessa College (3-2) didn’t trail at all against last year’s NJCAA Tournament runner-up.
Trinity Valley fell to 2-2 for the season.
“I’m elated,” Odessa College head coach Franqua Bedell said. “I’m just excited. It’s something I knew we could do. We’ve been barely losing games. It’s been the little things, but I feel like we finally got over the hump.”
The Lady Wranglers were led by Ivana Krajina’s 26 points as she went 10-13 on inside shots and 2-2 on 3-pointers and 4-4 on free throws.
Tia Shelling had 13 points total, going 6-15 on field goals and 1-3 on 3-pointers.
Kimora Daly also had 13 points for the Lady Wranglers, going 4-6 on field goals, 2-3 on 3-pointers and 3-4 on free throws.
“We were without some key players tonight,” Bedell said. “We were missing Sarengbe Sanogo and Marim Sanogo and I felt like that would’ve given Trinity a hard matchup but we still found a way to get it done.”
Trinity Valley Community College’s Lydie Mwamba had 20 points after going 9-17 on inside shots and 2-4 on 3-pointers.
Breanna Baxter had 19 points after going 8-13 on field goals and 3-5 on free throws.
Trinity Valley head coach, Precious Ivy, refused to be interviewed after the game.
The Lady Wranglers got off to a great start, using a few transition baskets to strike first.
Odessa College went on an early 11-4 run.
Daly made an inside jumper and drew a foul on her bucket.
She made both the free throws to complete the three-point play to give the Lady Wranglers a 17-8 lead with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
Krajina made a layup and it was then 19-8, Odessa College, soon after.
However, the Lady Cardinals used an 8-0 run to close the gap to only three points with less than a minute remaining.
Krajina ended the run with a bucket from the paint and Odessa College closed out the first quarter with a 21-16 lead.
Trinity Valley began the second quarter with a 5-0 run to tie the game up.
Krajina answered back a 3-pointer of her own to put Odessa College back in front, 24-21.
It was the start of a 9-0 run by the Lady Wranglers.
Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half and Trinity Valley made it a five-point game with less than a minute remaining.
April Edwards ended the half on a high note for the Lady Cardinals with a 3-pointer and Odessa College went into the locker room with a 42-40 lead.
The Lady Wranglers entered the second half with new momentum, going on a 16-6 run to remain in control of the game.
Daly hit a 3-pointer to make it 61-47 with 3:47 left in the third quarter.
She scored from beyond the arc a minute later to extend Odessa College’s lead to 64-49.
Odessa College entered the fourth quarter with a 68-57 lead.
Aisha Amaral Dos Santos scored on an inside shot early in the fourth quarter to give Odessa College a 72-57 advantage.
Trinity Valley managed to make it a nine-point game with 3:45 left on the clock.
A basket by Mwamba made it 76-69 soon after.
The Lady Cardinals didn’t go away in the final minutes, but the Lady Wranglers stayed in front.
Shelling added an inside shot to make it a 10-point lead with under two minutes to go.
The Lady Wranglers weren’t to be denied and held on for the win.
Odessa College will return to the court to face Hill College at 3 p.m. Friday at the Chaparral Center.
The Lady Wranglers will then face Panola College at noon Saturday to finish up the tournament.
“We have two good teams coming up,” Bedell said. “We get to enjoy this win for a couple of hours, but we have to go back to work tomorrow and do the same thing.”