GREAT BEND, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College women's basketball team struggled in its return to the hardwood Wednesday, falling 76-58 on the road to Barton Community College in its first game of the spring semester.
Wednesday's loss dropped Cloud County to 10-3 overall and 7-3 in the KJCCC, and snapped a four-game winning streak the T-Birds' had owned over the Lady Cougars (9-5 overall, 6-4 KJCCC).
Cloud County was without NJCAA Hall of Fame head coach, Brett Erkenbrack, as he served a one-game suspension for two technical fouls — ending a streak of 915 consecutive games coached by Erkenbrack — issued to him in Cloud County's 68-57 loss to Butler on December 9.
His absence from the Barton Gymnasium was just the first on a list of unusual characteristics for the T-Birds in Wednesday's contest.
Cloud County was outrebounded for just the third time this season, 42-30. And the T-Birds' typically dynamic duo of freshman forward Scout Frame (16.1 points per game) and sophomore guard Kelsi Mueller (13.9 ppg.) were limited to seven combined points.
"Like I told the girls after the game, we didn't have that toughness, that grittiness that we had in the first semester," said Cloud County assistant coach, John Rutherford. "We weren't ourselves."
Cloud County shot a pedestrian 38 percent from the floor, and 58 points were 14 below the T-Birds' season average.
To compound the problem, Barton's offense was relentless. The Lady Cougars shot 56 percent for the game — 63 percent in the second half — which included a 28-point third quarter, turning a tight 31-29 game at the half into a 59-40 lead heading into the fourth.
"We let some people get behind us (for layups) and we weren't competing every single time down the floor on defense in that third quarter," Rutherford said.
Baud finished with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while adding three assists and a pair of blocks.
Davis scored 10 of her 13 points in the first half to pace the T-Birds early on, and Meyers finished a rebound shy of a double-double as she went for 10 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
Cloud County will look to shake off the loss when it returns home Saturday to host Cowley College. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
"There's no reason to dwell on this loss," Rutherford said. "There was not necessarily one thing (Wednesday) where you go 'if we fixed that one thing we'd be all right.' The girls just need to get back into the flow and figure out who we are again."