(Sugar Grove, IL) - Waubonsee Community College's women's basketball team moved back to the .500 mark with a hard fought 78-73 win over visiting Morton College. Tied at 70 with two and half minutes to go, the Chiefs' Essence Rayford scored three times down the stretch to help Waubonsee even its overall record to 9-9 on the season. Neither team led by more than six points the entire game in a see-saw battle that had 17 lead changes and nine ties.
Morton led 15-12 after one quarter and held a four point advantage at the break at 37-33. The Chiefs nailed seven three-pointers, including four by Tatyanna Smith, in the first half to stay within striking range. Both teams began clicking offensively in the third period as the pace of the game picked up. The contest was tied at 57 before Morton's Jeanette Villezcas buried a trey in the final seconds of the period. Rayford then took over in the final two minutes of the game scoring on three drives to the basket. An inside basket by Katy Shawke off a nice assist from Smith with 0:26 left put Waubonsee up by five points and essentially clinched the victory for the Chiefs.
Smith finished with a collegiate career high of 23 points to go along with four assists and six rebounds. Rayford booked 19 points, handed out eight assists and made four steals. Katie Beebe posted her 11th double-double of the season with 13 pouints and 18 rebounds, while also blocking six shots and making three steals. Shawke added 16 points and four assists, connecting on four shots from beyond the arc. Waubonsee is in action again this coming Thursday, January 16 when they host Moraine Valley Community College in a non-conference affair beginning at 5;15 p.m. Waubonsee's men's squad tips off later that evening at 7:15 p.m. against Oakton Community College in an Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference match up.