Another rough night

The Alpena Community College women’s basketball team’s luck against short-handed teams ran out on Wednesday.

Playing with only six players, Wayne defeated the Lumberjacks 61-45 at Park Arena after ACC had trouble getting things going on both ends of the floor.

Whitney Frazier led ACC (5-9, 2-5 MCCAA Eastern) with 22 points, but the Lumberjacks struggled from the outset of the contest and played nearly 11 minutes before scoring their first basket.

For the Wildcats (4-9, 4-3 MCCAA Eastern), the victory pushed their winning streak to three after a rough start in conference play.

“It’s like a roller coaster. We were down and losing in the beginning. We hadn’t won a game until the conference started. We played some pretty tough teams and that got us prepared,” Wayne coach Monique Brown said. “We had tough, tough games in the beginning. We had Macomb, St. Clair, Delta, Mott in the first four games and when you start off with a schedule like that and don’t win, it can be demoralizing.”

Neither team shot particularly well to open the game, but Wayne was able to race out to a 12-0 lead halfway through the first half before ACC scored. Wayne shot just 25 percent from the field compared to 17 percent for the Lumberjacks.

A pair of triples from Frazier kept the game close before the end of the half and the Wildcats took a 19-16 lead into halftime.

Frazier’s triple with 18:32 left in the game finally gave ACC its first lead of the night and the Lumberjacks briefly held another lead before Wayne took over.

As the struggles mounted for ACC early in the second half, Wayne put together a 13-0 run which gave the Wildcats a 36-25 lead with 13:42 left. The Lumberjacks had trouble hanging on to the ball and committed 26 turnovers for the game, though Wayne wasn’t much better and had 24.

April Douglas led Wayne with 17 points, Shantanique Tolbert had 15 points, Chakeila Johnson added 14 and Shantel Jones chipped in with 12.

ACC had previously beaten Kirtland and Henry Ford in consecutive weekends and both squads only played with five players. The Wildcats however, came up with a win despite delays in their trip up north and not much warm-up time.

“We had a long trip and we were a couple hours late. It pushed our time back so we got here right at game time. We were real slugglish in the first half. We only played with six today so we got tired pretty fast,” Brown said. “I just told them we needed to switch things up a little bit defensively to get ourselves going. We came out with a little energy in the second half.”

A basket from Alleigh Sexton pulled ACC to within nine, 39-30, with 11:34 left, but that was a close as the Lumberjacks got. ACC hit nine three-pointers on Wednesday, but Wayne countered with decent shooting of its own and did a nice job driving inside.

The Wildcats went 11-for-19 at the free-throw line compared to just 2-for-5 for ACC and outshot the Lumberjacks 44 percent to 36 percent in the second half.

Alpena plays at Mott on Saturday.

WAYNE (61): A. Douglas 7 2-4 17; C. Johnson 6 1-3 14; S. Jones 5 2-2 12; S. Tolbert 5 5-7 15; J. Holmes 1 1-3 3.

ALPENA (45): A. Sexton 2 0-0 4; W. Frazier 8 1-1 22; S. Kolb 1 0-0 3; A. Monticello 2 0-0 5; K. Shepard 1 0-0 2; E. Nowak 1 0-0 2; S. Bischoff 1 0-0 3; C. Holmes 1 0-0 3; A. Carrick 0 1-4 1.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.