TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho women’s basketball team beat Lethbridge College 106-62 on Friday, and to do so, head coach Randy Rogers had to beat someone that gave his team a lot of trouble in the past.
Deanna Dotts, Lethbridge’s head coach, was a former women’s basketball player at Northern Idaho College, a team that knocked off CSI in the 2010-11 Region 18 tournament and won the NJCAA Division I national championship with Dotts.
“She was a such a tough kid, tough to play against,” Rogers said.
Dotts said coming into Friday’s game, she felt like she knew what to expect because of her years playing against CSI and Rogers.
“Randy gets his girls to come out in your face and play defensively every night,” she said. “That’s what they were always known for.”
However, in this particular matchup, the offense shined for the Golden Eagles, including a 32-point first quarter after struggling against Arizona Western Community College early on in their last matchup.
CSI freshman Mallory Lapoole started with seven quick points, and kept driving into the paint. She finished the night with 23 points, tied for the game-high with sophomore Jamie Nielson, who went 10-for-12 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range on the night.
“Mallory did a nice job of getting post position, our guards did a nice job of feeding her and she can score,” Rogers said. “Jamie just had a great shooting night. That’s the best way to put it.”
One of the keys for the Golden Eagles was offensive rebounding. In fact, CSI finished the game with 26 offensive rebounds compared to 24 defensive rebounds, and sophomore Tiena Afu was a big part of that effort.
“Tiena is someone that, with 15 points and 15 rebounds, you just expect that,” he said. “She’s that good for us.”
Despite forcing 35 turnovers and totaling 21 steals, Rogers said his defense could have performed much better on the night.
“It was either a steal or a foul,” he said. “I’m a big fan of hustle, but if you keep fouling, it kills the effort.”
But Dotts said her team will learn so much from facing a high-tempo defense like that of CSI.
“Even though we lost by 40 points, that’s going to make us so much better,” she said. “This is the type of team we want to be: the teamwork, the tempo, the hustle.”
Rogers said he’s still learning about his team and has been switching up his starters, but the team continues to excel. They now boast an 8-1 record, the lone loss to Cochise College on the road.
“This team’s really competitive, so it’s tough to know who to play,” he said. “It’s a good problem to have.”