Teams Bounce Back After Losses to Ranked Opponents

Josh Miller and Destiny Thurman, Collin College
Josh Miller goes up for a dunk (left) and Destiny Thurman elevates for a bucket (right) during the Thanksgiving Classic. Photos by KIRK DICKEY

The Lady Cougars won back-to-back at home and the Cougars got a big win over Brookhaven, bouncing back after losses to nationally-ranked opponents in late November. 

The women's team is 8-4 overall heading into a Dec. 10 game against an Australian club team. Collin's men will face Cedar Valley College Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and Bossier Parish Community College, Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. The men are 8-3 overall. 

The games, like all Collin College home basketball games, are free to Collin College students, staff, and faculty. All others pay just $3 admission. Collin College basketball is played at the Plano Campus (Spring Creek) gym. 

Both Collin teams have faced tough opponents in the past two weeks as they gear up for district play, which begins shortly after the return from holiday break. 

The men's team went 1-1 in the Collin County Thanksgiving Classic tournament, winning its opener over South Plains College, 73-63, but dropping a 85-79 heart-breaker to No. 12 Clarendon College. Mason Hix led scoring in both games with 19 and 18 points respectively. The Cougars had a balanced attack from the remaining team, including solid performances from Myles Warren and John Achebe in the Clarendon game. 

The team had a tough time containing Clarendon's Russell Harrison, who had 33 points in the game. 

The Cougars roared back with a 65-51 win over Brookhaven College to start off December with Coach Jim Sigona's 600th win as a head coach. Hix again led scoring with 13, followed by Nighael Ceaser with 11 and Achebe with 9. Josh Miller had three blocks in the game and Ceaser led the game in rebounds with 19 boards. 

The team fell in an 82-80 nail-biter against Richland College. When the two teams met the first time, the Thunderducks came out on top by 1 point. This time, the margin was only slightly larger. Achebe had 16 points and three rebounds in the game. He was followed by Ta'Veon Sevaaetasi, who had 14. Warren had 12 and Ceaser had 11. 

The Lady Cougars lost both of their Collin County Thanksgiving Classic games, falling 60-52 to No. 8 Tyler and 61-57 to a tough Kilgore College team. 

The Tyler Apache Ladies led throughout their game despite strong defense by the Lady Cougars, including 17 steals, six coming from Anyssia Gibbs. Collin's Destiny Thurman got one of the team's three blocks and scored 14 points in the game. She was followed by Lucy Ibeh with 11.

Shala Robinson led Collin's efforts against Kilgore, putting up 16 points, seven rebounds, a steal, and a block. She was followed by Thurman with 13 and Ibeh with 11. The Lady Cougars led in the game through three quarters, until Kilgore came thundering back in the fourth. Collin was outscored 19-10 in the final frame to give up the close loss. 

Cedar Valley College, which Collin faced next, may have been on the receiving end of some pent-up aggression in their 87-47 loss to the Lady Cougars. Collin outscored the Lady Suns in each quarter and virtually shut them down in the third, allowing just 4 points to Collin's 25. The Lady Cougars had 17 steals and pulled down 42 rebounds in the game

Thurman padded her 17.3 points per game average with 24 points that night. She was followed by Ibeh with 18, Awatea Leach with 14 and Gibbs with 13. The team shot 50.8 percent from the field. 

The Lady Cougars' game against Eastern Oklahoma State College was much tighter by comparison, with the Lady Cougars defeating the Lady Mountaineers 77-75. Collin clamped down tight on Eastern in the fourth quarter, limiting the visiting team to just 6 points, while putting up 15 in the comeback win. 

Thurman led scoring with 20 points, followed by Ibeh with 16 and Cadrina Nolen with 13. The Lady Cougars outrebounded the Lady Mountaineers, pulling down 44 total boards, 27 on defense.