For two-thirds of its battle with defending National Junior College Athletic Association champion and nationally-ranked North Idaho, the Walla Walla Community College women’s basketball team played as well as any team could play.
The Warriors led by as many as 17 points, 50-33, in the second half.
But the visiting Cardinals roared back with full-court defense that seemed to take its toll on WWCC, resulting in numerous turnovers.
NIC closed out the game as strong as Walla Walla had started it, and left town with a 71-65 victory.
The turnover category was the most significant stat. North Idaho turned the ball over just 12 times while the Warriors relinquished it on 27 ocassions.
The turnover number was bad enough, but the points the visitors got off of those miscues – 36 – were equally as devastating.
In the short term, this was a tough one for all WWCC loyalists to swallow. But in the long run, playing an opponent of this caliber will do nothing but help Walla Walla as it gears up for the remainder of the season.