By Mike Pilosof
Pratt, KS-As the halftime buzzer sounded on Wednesday night, Charinee Mitchell could only shake her head. Garden City had turned it over 17 times, yet only trailed by five.
"We were just giving the ball away," Mitchell said.
In the second half, it finally caught up to them.
Courtney Cleveland scored 14 points, Rachel Tippens added 10, and Pratt outscored the Broncbusters 37-20 over the final 20 minutes to beat Garden City 56-34 at the Beaver Dome.
"Most of the turnovers were unforced," Mitchell said. "And it's amazing because in practice we were running our offense as sharp as ever. We get to the game, and we are throwing the ball all over the place."
The Broncbusters scored first, but then watched the Beavers rattled off nine straight points. Pratt was up five after one and led 19-14 at the break. The staggering number from the first half besides the turnovers: the shooting—Garden City missed 12 of their 13 attempts in the second quarter.
"It was just another game where it seemed like we weren't ready to play," Mitchell said. "And that's really disappointing."
Garden City's miscues combined with their poor shooting, finally came back to bite them in the third. Jazmin George and Cleveland each hit layup, Tippins nailed a 3-pointer, and the Beavers were up 28-19. Cleveland added a triple late in the period, putting Pratt on top 38-26 at the end of three.
"We just have to figure it out," Mitchell said. "And I told our team that we have four games to do just that."
The Beavers really opened things up in the final period. Tianna Tullis connected on back-to-back baskets before Tippins came swooping in from the left baseline for a layup to stretch the lead to 18. It grew to as much as 25, thanks to a 20-2 run that was capped off with consecutive hook shots by Janell Douvier that made it 53-28 with 2:27 remaining.
"Pratt was 22 points better than us," Mitchell said. "They really were because we didn't bring it. And we are just making so many mistakes that we shouldn't be making."
The Broncbusters shot s season-low 22 percent from the floor, dropping their fourth straight game. Alyssa Boyce was the lone Garden City player in double figures with 12 points on 5-of-11. The rest of the team combined to shoot just 7-of-43 (16 percent).
Tullis chipped in six points off the bench for Pratt, who snapped a three-game skid. They grabbed 12 offensive rebound and won the battle on the glass 46-38.
Next up: Garden City vs. Dodge City-Saturday, Feb. 16-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app