The youthful Baton Rouge Community College women’s basketball team received a tough learning experience against Pearl River Community College on Thursday night.
The freshman-laden Lady Bears fell behind early and never recovered in their home opener as the Lady Wildcats coasted to a 75-48 win.
PRCC guard Courtney Chargois led with 10 points while post players Chelsea Christopher and Ke’Ra St. John each finished with 9.
BRCC sophomore guard Rhondalon Popularus led all scorers with 12.
“There was a lot of nervous energy and I’m responsible for that,” said BRCC coach Paula Lee. “With the speed and intensity of the game, I thought we might have been a little overwhelmed.”
Defense dictated the early stages of the game as both teams struggled early shooting from the field. But the Lady Wildcats (1-2) built a double-digit lead late in the first half courtesy of BRCC’s 14 first-half turnovers and never trailed the rest of the way.
The Lady Bears (0-1) finished with 27 turnovers. BRCC returns to action Friday when it hosts Faulker State at home in the Lady Bears Classic.
“Our effort and knowledge aren’t on the same page yet, but we don’t have time to worry about it because we have a quick turnaround,” Lee said.
Courtney Chargois’s running floater gave the Lady Bears their only lead of the game, a 13-12 advantage at the 12:50 mark in the first half. Popularus and forward Taliah Robertson fueled an 8-0 run for the Lady Bears midway through the second half before PRCC regained control with a 14-5 run.
PRCC’s Kyiana Allen scored a putback lay-up with 3:33 remaining to match the Lady Wildcats’ largest lead of the game at 69-42.
“Early on you’re going to have a lot of young kids in there so there’s going to be mistakes and turnovers,” said PRCC coach Toby Bush. “We got a little sloppy toward the end, but all in all we’re happy to come away with a win.”
PRCC opened the game with a 6-0 run after BRCC committed six turnovers and four personal fouls in the first five minutes of the game.
After two more BRCC turnovers Lady Wildcats guard Whitney Williams made two free throws and added a running bank shot to make the score 24-17.
PRCC opened a double-digit lead at 30-20 with 2:47 left in the first half after Stephanie Fratesi connected on a 19-footer from the right wing and scored a transition lay-up on the ensuing possession.
PRCC guard Brantia Malone took advantage of two BRCC turnovers in the final two minutes, converting a fast break opportunity with a mid-range jumper and adding two free throws on the following possession to give PRCC a 36-23 lead at halftime.