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Titans handle Chukars in season opener

Back (left to right): Emma Jones, Amanda Tobey, Meagan Briggs and Khadija Smith. Front: Megan Still and Kelly O'Malley
Back (left to right): Emma Jones, Amanda Tobey, Meagan Briggs and Khadija Smith. Front: Megan Still and Kelly O'Malley

The Titans women's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with the Titan Classic against the Treasure Valley Chukars. The Titans were able to handle business from the start in a 99-53 victory.

How it happened: The Titans opened the 1st quarter with 22 points, but struggled shooting, hitting 43.8 percent of their attempts, but made up for it by shooting 50 percent from three. The Titans scored the first four points and led throughout the quarter, winning 22-13. The Chukars would have their joint best shooting quarter at 41.7 percent from the floor and 66.7 from three. Despite the good shooting against a bigger Titan team, the Chukars could not capitalize on the scoreboard because of the lack of shots due to a 10-2 disadvantage in turnovers.

The 2nd quarter is when the Titans really stretched the lead. They outscored the Chukars 29-10 and shot a game-high 58.8 percent on 10-17 from the floor and 50 percent from three on eight attempts. The Chukars didn't have their worst quarter shooting wise, but a 23.8 percent mark and 0-4 from three did them no favors. The quarter could have been worse for the Chukars had they not forced seven Titan turnovers and grabbed three more offensive rebounds, 5-2.

The 3rd quarter played out like the 1st, the Chukars shot well enough to be competitive, but not well enough to cut into their halftime deficit. The Titans shot over 50 percent for the second straight quarter. The Titans got six points on 3-3 shooting and two assists from freshman Aolani Talamaivao-Calderon. Mya India Thomas had 5 points and the Titans lone three of the quarter. Samantha Jessop led the Chukars with six points and four rebounds off the bench. Despite the slow quarter, the Titans won the quarter 23-18.

The 4th quarter saw the Titans tighten defensively, allowing 12 points on 1-12 shooting by the Chukars. The Chukar were able to get to the line, 9-12, thanks to seven Titan fouls. Thomas had another great quarter, scoring nine points on 4-8 shooting. The Titans had to earn their points the hard way, only getting to the line once.

What/who stood out: The Titans had 18 turnovers and forced 39 which led to 20 steals and 16 more field goal attempts. Meagan Briggs who finished her volleyball season for the Titans yesterday scored six points and had three rebounds in seven minutes off the bench. The Titans bench scored 52 of their 99 points and nine of the 12 players who played scored. 27 of 37 made field goals were assisted by Titans, while only eight of 16 for the Chukars. Thomas finished the game with a game-high 28 points in only 25 minutes. Kylie Guelsdorf chipped in 12 points, eight assists and two boards.

What it means: The Titans start their season with a victory and stay in contention to win the Titan Classic.

What's next: The Titans play Blue Mountain at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Blue Mountain beat Centralia 71-64 behind 19 points and 11 rebounds from Brooke Wheeler.