Broncbusters fall at home to Pratt

Broncbusters fall at home to Pratt

Garden City, KS-Back in December, Kavita Akula lit up Pratt's gym with a record-breaking barrage from downtown, setting the single-game school mark by hitting nine 3 pointers.

On Wednesday night, there were no such records broken. Pratt stymied the Broncbusters sharpshooter, and in the process delivered a knockout block to Nick Salazar's team.

Megan Poole scored 22 points and pulled down a game-best 19 rebounds, Jada Catlin added 15, and the Beavers ran by Garden City 75-62 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

"We just haven't come out lately with a lot of energy," Salazar said afterwards. "We couldn't stop Megan Poole—that's the reality of it."

Poole was a one-woman wrecking crew in the first half, scoring 20 points and ripping down 15 board in the first 20 minutes. In fact, she scored eight of the first 11 points for Pratt (8-18, 7-15) to begin the game, as the Beavers opened up a seven-point advantage in the opening quarter.

"She (Poole) was dominant," Salazar said. "There's no other way to describe it."

Despite Poole's offensive onslaught and a poor shooting frame where they were just 5-of-15 from the floor, Garden City (8-18, 6-16) trailed by just three going into the second thanks to Akula's rainbow 3-pointer at the end of the first.

"I've said it all season long that we have the players on the floor to be competitive," Salazar said. "Our biggest problem has always been depth and energy. And tonight was another one of those examples."

The Beavers scored the first six points of the second to open up a nine-point advantage. They followed that up by closing the period just as strong as they had started it, outscoring Garden City 11-3 over the final 2:37. Juliana Alarcon-Diaz nailed a shot at the buzzer, and Pratt had a 42-28 cushion at the intermission.

"We drew a line in the sand after the last game," Salazar said. "I wanted to know who actually wanted to play basketball. I want people to know that we are working very hard to try and avoid ever having a season like this."

In the third quarter, Garden City went ice cold. The Broncbusters missed six straight shots and went more than seven minutes without a field goal. And when Tanesha Lewis drained two free throws, the Beavers had a 56-39 advantage with 49 seconds to go in the period.

"We have constantly struggled to shoot the ball all year long," Salazar said.

Channa Parvin's triple two minutes into the final stanza, gave Pratt their largest lead of the night 61-43. The Broncbusters got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Garden City turned it over 21 times, shot 38 percent from the floor and managed just nine assists on 24 made baskets. DeRae Lewis scored 17 points and had eight rebounds for the Broncbusters, who dropped their third straight game and ninth in their last 10 outings.

Parvin netted 12 points for Pratt, who won a season-best third straight contest.

Next up: Garden City at Coffeyville-Saturday, Feb. 18-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app

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