Conference play kicked off with 1-1 records for the Collin College men's and women's teams after losses on the road against a ranked Ranger College and a pair of significant home wins against Hill College.
The Lady Cougars came achingly close to beating national No. 21 Ranger on the road, taking the game to overtime and losing by just one point, 60-59. Collin trailed by nine points going into the final regulation frame, but battled back to tie it and send it into overtime. Destiny Thurman led the teams with 14 points, followed by Lucy Ibeh with 12. Ibeh also had 10 rebounds and two steals in the game.
The Lady Cougars found a way to rally for another come-from-behind win against Hill at home Jan. 4, outscoring the Lady Rebels 22-10 in the final quarter to end the game 79-70. Collin had trailed throughout, turning the corner with about five minutes remaining on a series of steals and well-timed 3-pointers.
Ibeh led the team with 20 points, including a late-game bucket to give the team some breathing room, scoring off a laser-like assist to her in the paint from Thurman. Anyssia Gibbs followed Ibeh in scoring with 18 points including one of the aforementioned treys. Thurman, Cadrina Nolen, and Shala Robinson rounded out the top scorers with 12, eight and eight points respectively.
Collin's men's team hung in with national No. 2 Ranger in their 98-91 conference opener. The Cougars shot a blistering 65.3% from the field and 41.2% from behind the arc. Nighael Ceaser led the team with 20 points, eight rebounds, one steal and one block. He was followed by Myles Fitzgerald-Warren with 17 points and Mason Hix with 14.
The Cougars got put their feet on the gas and didn't look back in their Jan. 8 tilt against Hill College, opening scoring with a pair of threes. Hix led the team in scoring with 22 points, adding two blocks and eight rebounds. Addison Wallace followed with 13 points and three blocked shots. Ceaser and Fitzgerald-Warren had 12 points apiece. Ceaser led the team in boards with 12 total rebounds.