BY CHAD DARE
---- — CHAMPAIGN — Danville Area Community College women's basketball coach Kyle Bent had seen a few problems with his team's defense leading into Saturday's contest with Parkland College.
The Lady Jaguars had allowed 70 or more points in three of their last five games, included in that was an 87-83 win over the Lady Cobras on Jan. 29 at the Mary Miller Gymnasium.
This time around Parkland didn't fall behind by double digits in the first half and Jocie Klocke came off the bench to score 20 points as the Lady Cobras got their revenge with a 91-77 victory over the Lady Jaguars in a Mid-West Athletic Conference contest at the Dodds Athletic Center.
"It was a huge issue,'' said Bent. "Now they shot it well, but teams are going to do that, especially at home.
"We just kept getting frustrated and our defense kept getting a little worse.''
The Lady Cobras, who improve to 17-8 overall and 5-1 in M-WAC, shot an impressive 53 percent from the field with Klocke making 7 of her 10 shots, including both 3-pointers.
"They shot well from 3-point range and they shot well from anywhere inside of that,'' Bent said.
Sophomore Kayton Cole scored a game-high 28 points for the Lady Jaguars but even her shoot exploits of the second half were not enough.
DACC (17-8 overall, 5-1 in the M-WAC) got as close 52-48 on the second of Cole's six 3-pointers in the second half, but Parkland answered with a 10-2 run as Klocke capped it with a three-point play.
"We were trading 3s for 2s when Kayton go hot,'' Bent said. "When you did a hole early, there is no five or six-point shot. You have to chip away at it and you can't gain ground if you don't get defensive stops. We were basically trading too many baskets.''
Freshman Brianna Jones, who recorded a double-double with 13 points a game-high 16 rebounds, admitted the Lady Jaguars were never able to achieve the level of effort they needed to stop the Lady Cobras.
"I think we need to have a better effort throughout the whole game,'' she said. "It seemed like a lot of us got tired and we became a step slow on defense.''
With the loss, Parkland and DACC are tied for first place in the M-WAC standings.
"This definitely hurts, but we are not going to hang our heads,'' Jones said. "We need to get back to work on Monday.''
Bent said that Saturday's loss doesn't really change the conference title aspirations of the Lady Jaguars.
"If we are going to win the title outright, we are going to need a little help,'' he said. "But, as long as we take care of our business, the worst that we can do is share the title.''
One of the biggest setbacks for DACC came late in the first half when sophomore Megan Hiner injured her left leg.
"It doesn't look good,'' Bent admitted. "They think she might have tore something in her knee. That was a big blow to us emotionally. Megan is kind of like the mom of the team and I could tell that our girls were very concerned for her.
"Basically, we have to regroup and move on.''
The Lady Jaguars have a non-conference game with Robert Morris on Thursday, and then they finish the season with four straight conference home games beginning with next Saturday's contest with Lewis & Clark.
"I'm pretty confident that we are going to bounce back,'' said Jones.