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Hot, then Cold Archers Fall to Vikings

January 17, 2013

Kirstie Owen  
Sophomore Kirstie Owen got the Archers off to a quick start
versus Jefferson College with 16 first-half points, but
STLCC eventually fell 71-47.

For the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s game against visiting Jefferson College, the Archers appeared poised to emerge from their early second-semester rut and collect their signature win of this season to date.

In those 10 minutes, the Archers sprinted to a 24-12 lead, largely due to the contributions of sophomore guard Kirstie Owen (Salem, Ill.), who scored 16 first-half points.

Unfortunately for STLCC, the next 30 minutes were not as successful. The Vikings rallied to grab a 34-31 lead at the half, and outscored the Archers by 21 in the second half for a 71-47 win.

“They threw a little defensive set at us and we went cold,” Archers assistant coach Melanie Marcy said. “We have to learn to fight through those. Then they got hot, we didn’t, and it made us take a step back.”

In addition to defensive adjustments, the Vikings took advantage of a banner day from beyond the 3-point arc to run away from the Archers. Jefferson entered having connected on 29 of their 3-pointer attempts on the season. Wednesday, the Vikings drilled 11 of 25 shots from beyond the arc, led by guard Sierra Contreras, who landed seven of her 10 attempts from 3-point range.

Contreras led all scorers with 25 points.

Though the loss was the third in a row for the Archers, dropping them to 10-5 on the year, Owen takes solace in the way the team responded a year ago when faced with longer odds. One year previous, the Archers stood at 7-5, a record that included a 1-5 stretch, before winning 13 of their next 15 games to reach the NJCAA Championship Tournament.

“We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it all,” said Owen, who was the only player to remain on the court for all 40 minutes on Wednesday. “We’ve been through the drought last year. We’re experiencing it now. We already know what it feels like, and we all keep our heads up.”

If the Archers are to respond in a similar way this year, it will come during one of the toughest portions of the team’s schedule. STLCC hits the road to Trenton, Mo., on Saturday to take on North Central College, and will also have road dates with Three Rivers College and Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley before returning home against Missouri Baptist’s junior varsity on Jan. 30.

“We don’t have one easy opponent from here on out,” Marcy said. “Teams may play their best against us. We have to learn to beat that adversity, conquer that adversity. We’re strong. We’re a team, we’re a family, and I think our kids understand it’s time to step up and perform and take the role they can take.”