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Patient HCC fights off a Spartan effort

January 29, 2008|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Patience paid off for the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team.

The Hawks started slowly but eventually pulled away in the second half to beat Northampton 82-54 on Monday night at the HCC athletic complex.

The Hawks raised their overall record to 19-0. HCC coach Marlys Palmer will attempt to get her 13th 20-win season on Wednesday at Prince George's. The Hawks have now won 26 straight home games.

"It is hard to single out one player, because it was a total-team effort," Palmer said. "We did a good job of distributing the ball. Our shooting percentages were so good tonight. We shot 80 percent from the foul line. We shot 53 percent from behind the 3-point line and we made eight three-pointers. We shot 42 percent from the floor. All of that is pretty good shooting against a good team."

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Sophomore Latoya Buckner led HCC with 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

"In the first half, we had 16 turnovers," Buckner said. "We just had to calm down. I just had to get focused and do my job on the inside. I started getting the passes to my teammates and started playing tough defense. All of that stuff makes a better offense. We try to stay humble. We try not to think that we are 19-0. We just go out and play our game."

Palmer praised Buckner's work.

"There is not enough that you can say about Latoya Buckner's performance tonight," Palmer said. "She was everywhere."

Cara Thompson had 13 points, Alicia Myers added 12 points and Valentina Wheeler had 10 points for HCC. Veronica Wheeler, Thompson and Myers had four assists each for the Hawks. Shuashanna Faulkner collected eight rebounds and three steals, while Amy Rhoderick and Shawayna Morel grabbed six rebounds each.

HCC took a 36-21 advantage with 4:38 remaining in the first half, but Northampton (15-3) reduced the deficit to 40-29 by

Northampton stayed within striking distance at 56-46 with 11:31 to go. The Hawks broke it open with a 17-2 run over the next 6:24 to build a 73-48 advantage. Valentina Wheeler scored eight points in the stretch put the game out of reach with with 5:07 remaining.

Ashley Capozzolo led Northampton with 17 points and four 3-pointers, while Sharnay Rehm added 10 points and eight rebounds and Kimberly Wine scored 10 points.

"They beat us down the court," Northampton coach Art Wolfe said. "They are very quick and they look for the open person. They are very well-coached."

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