Knights use strong second quarter to take down Panthers

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - For the third straight time to open the 2019-20 season, NPCC women's basketball had a home game Tuesday night. The Knights hosted York College JV at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.

The Knights forced 20 turnovers, and blocked six shots in Tuesday's 72-50 win over York College JV (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

The Panthers led 17-11 after the first quarter, but the Knights' defense held the Panthers to just five points in the second, and the Knights scored 25 in the second to take a 36-22 lead at the half. The Knights outscored the Panthers 26-18 in the second half, and won the game 72-50.

"Quarter one through four, our defensive effort was there. I thought it was better than the weekend. We really concentrated on our half court defense, I thought that was better, we really emphasized that this week. Still some careless mistakes but that'll come with time," head coach Jeff Thurman said.

Ashley Hassett led all scorers with 20 points, and added six rebounds, three assists, and seven steals. Isa Valenzuela added 19 points, and Janay Brauer had 16. Brauer led the Knights with nine rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds. Catie Whitehead and Jalyn Reagans both added seven boards, and Whitehead had five blocked shots.

"It's still early, November 5th, we're a long ways away. I said last year, I'll say it again this year, we're playing for January and February. We can't win our region in November. We like where we're at right now, we're two and one, we didn't win our second game last year for a long time, so it's nice to be on the plus end of the wins. We're excited," Thurman said.

With the win, the Knights move to 2-1 on the season. Their next game will be Friday, Nov. 8, hosting Eastern Wyoming College. The game will start at 5:00 p.m.