Aggies Fall To Lady Buffs, 68-65February 25, 2012
LAWTON, Okla. (Feb. 25, 2012) — Cameron’s women’s basketball team came up three points short tonight in its final game of the season, falling to the Lady Buffs 68-65 in the Aggie Gym. The loss was also the final home game for three seniors — Julie Paunovic, Nicole Pendarivs and Sabelle Diata.
“First off, I’m proud of our seniors and proud of our team,” said Head Coach Tom Webb. “We played hard. Of course, no one wants to lose the final game at home like that. West Texas is a good team … hopefully we see them sometime next week.
The Aggies (15-10, 11-9) started strong on senior night, feeding off the electricity of the crowd in the Aggie Gym to go up by 12 within the first 10 minutes. A Jordan Kauk three-pointer put CU up by 16 with 5:57 left in the half. But West Texas (18-8, 16-4) would fight back, going on a 12-4 run to push Cameron’s lead down to eight at the half.
The Aggies came out with the same intensity in the second half and carried its lead to within the 10-minute mark. The Lady Buffs took their first lead of the game with 5:47 left in the game on a jumper by Kenisha Harris. The Aggies responded immediately, going back on top after two free throws by Diata. WT took the lead for good with 3:28 remaining, but Cameron continued to push for the victory. Seniors Paunovic, Pendarvis and Diata each hit shots down the stretch to keep the Black and Gold close.
“Sometimes you have to make your breaks (chances to win) and when you get that opportunity, you have to capitalize,” Webb said. “No one wants it (to win) harder than our kids. It’s going to be a great place to be Thursday (in Allen)… somewhere we haven’t been in a long time. Let’s go get more.”
Despite the loss, Webb said he can look back at the accomplishments of this team and be pleased, and he hopes the fans can as well.
“I hope people don’t lose sight of what this group accomplished,” he said. “I came here for years ago and knew it would be tough. This group and all the groups before; they accomplished something special. Tonight wasn’t what we wanted but our number one goal was to go to the conference tournament, and we did that.”
And for more accomplishments, look no further than Webb’s outgoing class. Paunovic came to Cameron from Rutgers University for her senior year made an immediate impact. During her senior season, she is averaging 13.7 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Paunovic is top 10 in the Lone Star Conference in scoring, rebounding, 3 point percentage; 3 point field goals made, and blocked shots.
Pendarvis is leaving CU as one of the most prolific passers in school history. During her senior she has averaged 10 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and 5.5 assists per game. Her 5.5 assists per game makes her the record holder at Cameron for assists per game. The New Jersey-native is also third all-time in assists at Cameron and with 134 assists this year; she is one assist shy of becoming the single-season record holder for assists in a season.
Diata has made her mark on the Cameron program, re-writing the record books in just two years with the Aggies. This season, Diata broke the single season block record with 132, while tying the single game mark with 6 blocks in one game. Additionally, for the year she is averaging 14.3 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. Last season Diata was named 1st team all-conference as well as the Lone Star Conference Newcomer of the year. At Cameron she is 7th overall in career rebounding with 449, while also owning the number 4 spot for single-season rebounds per game and is 7th all-time in single-season points per game.
Cameron will next look forward to a first round match-up against Angelo State (12-14, 10-10) at 6 p.m Thursday in Allen, Texas, after clinching the number four seed in the LSC Tournament. CU split with Angelo earlier in the season, picking up a 56-50 win at home and a 54-53 overtime loss in San Angelo.
“We’re excited to play them, and I’m sure they’re excited to play us,” Webb said. “It’s a fun game. The number one thing is, we are zero and zero next week. All these other games are learning experiences. That’s what they need to be.”