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Ottawa’s Jaleesa Kindred (No. 23) steals the ball from La Salle-Peru’s Brianna Argubright during the Lady Pirates’ 56-32 victory Friday in a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division game in Ottawa. NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
Ottawa coach Mike Cooper said his team received a wake-up call Tuesday when La Salle-Peru beat St. Bede.
The Lady Pirates responded with what Cooper called their best defensive effort of the season.
Ottawa held L-P to 12-of-33 shooting and limited the Lady Cavaliers to 10 points or less in each quarter as the Lady Pirates pulled away in the second half for a 56-32 victory in the NIB 12 West opener for both teams.
“I thought defensively we were really good tonight,” Cooper said. “I thought we got to the shooters and we contested. (Brittany) Zawacki got a couple open looks, but other than that, we did a good job getting to the shooters. They got those first five points to start the game. Other than that, we really turned the screws defensively.” The Lady Pirates also got their offense going in the second half.
Ottawa took a double-digit lead for good at 29-18 on a three-point play by Mady Toynton on an assist from Cassidy Rice, and a pair of 3-pointers by Jasmine Bailey helped the Lady Pirates take a 37-22 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We got some of the jitters out and made a couple of adjustments offensively,” Cooper said. “(We were) getting a little bit more motion on offense. They surprised us a little bit defensively tonight. We stood around too much in the first half.”
Bailey led Ottawa (5-2, 1-0 NIB 12 West) with a game-high 17 points, while Jaleesa Kindred and Catie Carlson each added 11.
Zawacki scored 12 points to pace the Lady Cavs (2-5, 0-1).
“We didn’t play our best game,” L-P coach Hollis Vickery said. “I thought we got a little bit ragged at the start of the second half. They played very good defense and we didn’t respond well to that. We kind of stood around instead of moving without the ball and we got away from executing stuff. We just didn’t take care of the ball as well as we should.
“They played a great game. They executed well, they shot well and they took advantage of a few defensive mistakes.” Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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