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Catamounts dismount all over Hawks

January 22, 2004|by JACK HILL III

In a way, it was all just the way the ball bounced for the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team.

And when those bounces came off the backboard, the Hawks seemed to have repellent.

Potomac State, the No. 6-ranked team in NJCAA Division II, exploded offensively in the second half, mostly by taking control of the backboards Wednesday to score a 95-85 victory on Wednesday at HCC's athletic complex.

"We had a hard time matching up with them on the boards," HCC coach Marlys Palmer said. "After Alicia Romero's 16 rebounds, nobody else on our team had more than three rebounds."

It led to Potomac State scoring a 51-37 edge in the second half to pull away for the win and remain undefeated through 12 games. The Catamounts have scored at least 80 points in 11 of those games.

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"Our main scorers, Charlisa Cummins and Erika Alt, got some key buckets for us," Potomac State coach Gary Liston said. "We try to have them combine to score 50 points. Tonight, they scored over 60 points for us."

Cummins scored 32 points and Alt added 31 points to fuel Potomac State's scoring machine.

That meant it was just a matter of time for the Hawks, who held a 48-47 halftime lead. Potomac State quickly pushed the offense into gear to open the second half and pushed out to a 68-58 lead.

"I was surprised that we gave them the game that we gave them, because they have got a really good team," Palmer said. "They have got some exceptional good shooters and exceptional good quickness."

HCC mounted a 7-0 run to move within 68-65 with 12:03 remaining. However, Potomac State responded by extending its lead to 83-72 with 6:18 left and the Hawks got no closer than eight points for the rest of the way.

Natasha Euell scored 15 points, while Brittany Cartwright added 10 points and eight rebounds for Potomac State. Alt grabbed 10 rebounds and Cummins added eight rebounds.

Sophomore Eariel Gholson, a transfer from Western Iowa Community College, scored a team-high 26 points to go with six assists and five steals for HCC (11-7). Dee Brown added 13 points and five steals, while Romero got 12 points and four steals for the Hawks.

"I thought that our team really played well for 34 minutes," Palmer said. "If we would have been more mentally tough during the last six minutes of the game, then the score would have been closer."

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