In only her second game played at the junior college level, Seward County Community College freshman Stephani Rhoten put her name amongst some of the best players to ever play women’s basketball at Seward County. Rhoten led the Lady Saints with 38 points in an 89-68 victory over Carl Albert State College on Saturday night, during Seward County’s final game at the Pepsi Classic in Liberal. Rhoten’s 38 points rank her second all-time in Lady Saints’ history for most points scored in a single-game, and she also tied the all-time Seward County record for most 3-pointers in a game with eight. The No. 1 NJCAA nationally-ranked Lady Saints improve to 2-0 this overall this season, and the win gives the Seward County program its 45 consecutive non-conference victory.

Rhoten was on fire throughout the game, hitting 12-of-13 shots from the floor, shooting 8-for-9 from three-point range and making a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Rhoten, a 5-foot-7-inch point guard from Canyon, Texas, also recorded five rebounds, three steals and one assist on Saturday night.

The freshman point guard’s point total ranks her tied for second all-time in school history behind Jamie Talbert, who scored 39 points in a game during her sophomore season in 1999-00. Rhoten is now tied with Cassie Cordell (2002-03) and Stacy Wewe (1994-95), who both tallied 38 points in a single-game. She hit seven of her eight 3-point buckets in the first-half and later tied the all-time school record for three’s in a single-game when she made her eighth long range shot. Rhoten is now tied for the all-time 3-point single-game record with former Lady Saint NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American Stephanie Thiel. Additionally, Thiel owns the SCCC single-season 3-point record with 128 (2003-04).

Rhoten led the Lady Saints in the first-half making her first six shots, all 3-point field goals, giving her 18 points with seven minutes remaining in the first period. Seward County’s largest lead of the half came following two free throws from Rhoten (48-26) with five minutes remaining before halftime.

Seward County held a commanding lead at intermission, 56-39, as Rhoten led all players with 27 first-half points. Also scoring in double-figures in the first-half was sophomore guard Audra Binford. The six-foot shooting guard was a perfect 3-of-3 from long range, collecting 13 points.

Following the first-half when Seward County shot an impressive 58 percent from the floor (18-for-31), the Lady Saints remained consistent and stretched their lead to as many as 22 points on three separate occasions. Rhoten also remained hot in the second half, connecting on her first three field goals before she missed her first shot of the game with 11:45 left to play.

Seward County’s defense also stepped up in the second-half, holding Carl Albert to a 0-for-10 shooting effort from long range, after the Lady Vikings had made five 3-point buckets in the first 20 minute period. The Lady Saints also posted a 48-32 rebounding edge over the Lady Vikings.

Binford finished with 17 points, five rebounds and one blocked shot. Jennifer Noel was held to just one point offensively, but her 10 rebounds and eight assists were both team highs. Sophomore Tegan Cunningham played in just 22 minutes, while recording 10 points, six assists and five steals. Freshman post Kasia Gawor recorded 11 points and three rebounds for the Lady Saints.

Seward County will travel next weekend to Great Bend, Kan., to compete in the Barton County Community College Classic. The No. 1 ranked Lady Saints will open competition on Friday, Nov. 9 playing No. 22 Coffeyville Community College at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Seward County will finish competition against Eastern Oklahoma State College at 2 p.m. All games will be played at the Barton County Gym on the campus of BCCC.

PEPSI CLASSIC:
The game that left almost everyone scratching their head was when Odessa College came back to defeat Garden City Community College 71-68. The Lady Broncbusters looked like they had control of what would have been the biggest upset of the weekend, leading 62-49 with 8:42 remaining to play. That is when Odessa outscored Garden City 22-6 to finish the game and pick up their first win of the season. Garden City was led by Katie Novack (26 points) and Odessa was led by guard Diandra Marquez (21 points). Garden City, who went 1-28 last season, gave defending National Champion Odessa all they wanted in the non-league contest. Despite leading for most of the game, Garden City committed 26 turnovers and was out-rebounded 45-39.