At halftime against the Dawson Community College Buccaneers on Friday night, the Pronghorns still had a game on their hands, leading 43-25 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, Gillette College outscored Dawson 49-17, and the team took a 92-42 victory at the Pronghorn Center.
The Pronghorns (5-1) shot 60% from the field and 40% from 3-point range on the night to suffocate the Buccaneers, who made 16 of their 64 total shots (25%).
During the fourth quarter, Gillette scored 24 unanswered points before Dawson (2-4) scored its first bucket of the fourth quarter with 2:01 left to play.
“That’s a great quarter. We put the ball in the hole. I think we shot a heck of a percentage in the fourth quarter,” Pronghorns coach Liz Lewis said. “A big difference is we boxed out and limited their shots.”
Pronghorns freshman guard Sara Calavia came into the game for the first time in the final minute of the third quarter. Calavia took control of the fourth quarter and hit three of the four 3-point shots that she took.
She scored on a deep 2-point shot and again on a layup in the fourth quarter. She played just under 10 and a half minutes, but she recorded the second-most points on the team with 13 on the night.
“I just wanted to play, and when I was inside I was like, ‘I got it, I got it,’” said Calavia, a Lleida, Spain, native. “And then, I don’t know, they were in. I don’t know. I don’t know why. It was beautiful.”
Calavia dribbled out the time after the Buccaneers’ Cheryl Aubou scored a 3-point basket for the final points, and the Pronghorns took a 50-point margin of victory, their largest of the season.
Gillette College’s Kobe King-Hawea, a native of Australia, led the team with 29 points on 13-for-20 shooting. She also led with seven rebounds and six assists.
In Thursday night’s home opener, King-Hawea, tallied six points.
“My mindset, I think just changed from yesterday. I was kind of a bit frustrated from foul calling and the officials yesterday,” King-Hawea said. “New mindset, new day. Luckily, everything was sinking from the get-go.”
King-Hawea and Calavia said they’ve needed to adjust to playing the American style of basketball. For King-Hawea, the game has been less physical, while it has been just the opposite for Calavia, they said.
During the first quarter, the Pronghorns held a 3-point lead half way through the frame. The Buccaneers have three players listed at 6-foot tall or over on the roster, and the size, and speed might have been a shift from the previous game when the Pronghorns allowed 15 points in the entire first half.
“Dawson has a lot of speed. And that’s something that we were worried tonight, is their speed against ours,” Lewis said. “Our girls did a good job containing their guards and executing our defensive plan.”
One of the only things the Pronghorns lacked in, statistically, was the offensive rebounds. The Buccaneers tallied 17 offensive rebounds while the Pronghorns mustered nine.
“They had a lot of athletic girls, a lot of size on us,” King-Hawea said.
The victory over Dawson marks the fifth in a row for Gillette. The Pronghorns have defeated every opponent by double digits this season during their wins.
The Gillette College women’s basketball team will play Rocky Mountain College on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Pronghorn Center for the First Interstate bank & Coach USA Classic.
“This facility is amazing. The people here are so nice, the fans, the little kids that come out and support us,” King-Hawea said. “There’s just nothing like it.”