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The Southwestern Oregon Community College women’s basketball team came up short in its first game of the Hilex Poly/Wright PT Invitational at Twin Falls, Idaho, on Friday, falling to the College of Southern Idaho 92-63.

The Golden Eagles, ranked 13th in the NJCAA rankings, outscored the Lakers 26-10 in the first quarter and 21-9 in the third on the way to the win.

‘They’re good,” SWOCC coach Jeff Johnson said. “Considering how well they shot it and how much bigger they were, it wasn’t too bad.

“We would like the score to be a little closer.”

The Golden Eagles had a 44-30 rebounding edge and shot 50 percent as a team, including making 11 3-pointers.

The Lakers shot 41 percent in the loss, but that wasn’t the biggest issue, Johnson said.

“The big thing is, we’ve got to start worrying more about us and not so much what they’re doing,” he said. “We had 23 turnovers. That’s way too many to win games, no matter who you are playing.”

Johnson was proud the Lakers outscored the Golden Eagles 24-23 in the fourth quarter.

“I told them we have got to still compete, it doesn’t matter what the score is,” he said. “They kept battling. They kept playing for each other and cheering for each other. That will go a long way down the road."

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Abby Neff had 25 points for the Lakers, shooting 10-for-17 overall and 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Taylor Morris added 17 points, Kealani Neves eight and Jill Thalman seven.

Morris also had six assists and Meghan Holloman added five rebounds and five assists.

Macie Knapp had 23 points to lead the Golden Eagles. Jordan Todd added 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Next up, on the second-day of the tournament, is another top team, Utah State University Eastern, which beat North Idaho 69-50 in Friday’s other game to improve to 7-1 on the season.

Johnson said the two games in Idaho will make the Lakers better.

“That’s what Lane and Umpqua do every year, is challenge us,” he said. “That’s what our preseason is for — getting ready for (Lane and Umpqua).”

Next weekend, the Lakers are in the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament, when all three of their games are against NWAC South Region rivals, Portland, Clackamas and Umpqua. While Johnson might prefer to see other teams than those he will be facing in league play, he said that’s not the most important thing.

“For me, it’s all about getting games,” he said.

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