It was a game between the first-place Seward County Community College women’s basketball team against the eighth-place Garden City Community College Lady Broncbusters, but early in the game you wouldn’t have known it. The No. 3 Lady Saints were eventually able to run away with a blow-out victory over Garden City, 96-51 on Wednesday night at the Green House. Garden City led 17-13 after the opening 8:30 of the game, but then the nationally ranked Lady Saints came to life. Seward County completely shut down Garden City in the second-half as they improve their undefeated record to 19-0 overall and 5-0 in the Jayhawk West. Garden City falls to 1-17 overall and 0-6 in the conference.

On Wednesday afternoon, Seward County remained at No. 3 in the latest NJCAA Top 25 poll for the second consecutive week. The Lady Saints also entered Wednesday night after not playing in a week. Garden City took advantage of a rusty Lady Saints team as they led by as many as five points during the opening 10 minutes of regulation. Although it was the Lady Saints that grabbed the lead 22-21, at the 9:49 mark in the first-half and never looked back.

Seward County finished the first-half on a 25-12 run, going into the locker-room at halftime with a 47-33 lead. Garden City committed 13 first-half turnovers, while Seward County committed just five. The Lady Broncbusters were led at halftime by their standout freshman, Sharniece Saunders, who scored 14 points with seven rebounds in 17 minutes of action.

The Lady Saints got off to a great start in the second-half going on a 28-6 run during the opening 10:08. Seward County’s defense also held Garden City to only 18 points in the second-half.

Seward County was sparked offensively from Alyson Snell and Audra Binford, two reserve players who both had key performances for Seward County. Snell scored 14 points with 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range, and Binford scored a game-high 21 points on 5-for-9 shooting from long range. Binford has now scored over 20 points in three games this season.

Freshman Tegan Cunningham scored 17 points with nine rebounds, and sophomore guard Taushelle Rushing scored 12 points with five assists and five steals. Rushing moved into eighth-place all-time in single-season steals, as she now has 95 steals this season. Rushing passed Christina Amerin (1995-1996), who tallied 95 steals during her freshman season at Seward County.

SCCC shot 39-of-77 (51 percent) from the floor during the game, and 44 percent from three-point range (12-for-27). Garden City was led by Saunders who scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Saunders played only five minutes in the second-half, exiting the game with an apparent knee injury. In addition, Samantha Matthews scored 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc.

The No. 3 Lady Saints will host No. 4 Cloud County (16-1, 4-1) for a national showdown on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Green House in Liberal. Cloud County defeated Pratt 104-46 on Wednesday night in Concordia.