Collin College Basketball Takes On Nationally Ranked Teams

Anjanae Mueck and Orion Virden of Collin College Basketball
Photos by KIRK DICKEY

Collin College's men's and women's basketball teams faced a series of tough opponents in the second week of play. Both teams are tuning up for big games against four nationally ranked teams at home over the Thanksgiving break.

All home games are open to the public with free admission for students, faculty, and staff with a college ID. Entry is just $3 for all others.  

In the second week of play, the men's team picked up wins over Jacksonville College, Dallas College - Brookhaven, and Navarro College, which was then ranked 14th in the nation. The women's team lost a pair of games in a tournament in Tyler to nationally ranked Angelina College and Tyler Community College, as well as an extremely close matchup to perennially strong Paris Junior College at home on Nov. 16.

The men's team pulled ahead in the second half of its 62-70 win over Jacksonville, Nov. 12. The visiting Jaguars had surged into a 7-point lead early in the opening period and held it until 2:36 in the first half. The teams were neck-and-neck until the end of the game when Collin's defense and consistent free throw shooting – 68.4% from the stripe – helped seal the game. Thai Elder led in points scored with 21 and free throws made with 12 of 14. He also led the team in blocked shots. Other top scorers were John Achebe with 15 points and Lav Cvetkovic with 13.

The Cougars had a tighter 79-74 win over Navarro but shot better overall. The team made 59.1% of its field goals and shot 72.7% from the line. Cvetkovic led scoring with 22 points, followed by Orion Virden with 16, and Achebe with 13.

Achebe and Virden led scoring in Collin's game against Dallas College – Brookhaven, with 17 and 14 points, respectively. Cvetkovic and Ben Joelson each followed with 9 points. Scoring was relatively spread out otherwise, with most of the team scoring at least one point.

The Lady Cougars had a rough couple of games at the Herb Richardson Classic in Tyler, Nov. 12-13, although bright spots did shine through.

Angelina College won 91-63 in the first game, despite a 21-point performance by Anjanae Mueck and 17 points by Nikki Green. Mueck also had two blocks and three steals in the game.

Collin's game against Tyler Junior College ended 85-58 in the Lady Apaches' favor. Green had 17 points and sank all six of her free throw opportunities in the first of a pair of games against TJC this month. She was followed in scoring by Skye Dugan with 11 points and Mykaila Pickard with 10.

The Lady Cougars hosted Paris Junior College for one of the closest games of the season. Trailing early, Collin battled to just a 4-point deficit at the half and pulled ahead for the first time with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Led in scoring by Dugan and Green, each of whom had 13 points, the Lady Cougars stretched the lead to 5 points late in the game. The two teams traded leads going into the final seconds, but Paris held on for the win.

Caroline Glud Rasmussen and Mueck each had 8 points to round out the top scorers. The Lady Cougars made the most of their trips to the free throw line, sinking 15-20. Dugan had four steals in the game.

Collin College will host four nationally ranked teams for its annual Collin County Thanksgiving Classic. The Lady Cougars will host Tyler Junior College on Friday, Nov. 26, and Kilgore College, ranked 22 in the nation, on Saturday, Nov. 27. Both games will tip off at 1 p.m.

The Cougars will host South Plains College, which fell out of the national Top 25 Coaches Poll this week, on Friday, Nov. 26, and New Mexico Junior College, currently 11th in the nation, on Saturday, Nov. 27. Both games begin at 7 p.m.