The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Women’s Golden Rams basketball team traveled to Brainerd, Minn. last weekend to participate in the Central Lakes College (CLC) Invite and rolled past Mesabi Range 96 – 50 Friday, and Central Lakes 98 – 48 Saturday.
The Golden Rams traded baskets early with Mesabi, Friday, Nov. 20, but it wasn’t long before the team began to assert themselves. Tied at 6 four minutes into the game, Anoka-Ramsey went on a 20 – 4 run, fueled by relentless defensive pressure, good ball movement and solid shot selection. The Golden Rams forced 19 first half turnovers by Mesabi Range which lead to 17 of their 40 first half points. For the game Mesabi turned the ball over 35 times, largely due to the constant pressure of Anoka-Ramsey.
Anoka-Ramsey had four players in double figures lead by Alex Moore, a sophomore from St. Paul Johnson High School, who tallied 23 points on 9 for 13 shooting including 2 for 2 from the 3-point range. She also handed out six assists. Stephanie Pilgrim, a freshman from Osseo, Minn., who continued her scoring spree by adding 21 points of her own on 9 for 14 shooting. Alyssa Silva, a sophomore from Maple Grove, Minn. and Shawnell Vincent, a sophomore from Minneapolis Patrick Henry each contributed 16 points to the cause. However, the player of the game, according to Anoka-Ramsey Coach Dave DeWitt, was Mallory Cramer, a freshman from Minneapolis South, who hauled down 19 rebounds, had seven assists, six steals and seven blocked shots while scoring 8 points.
“Mallory gave an All-American performance tonight,” says Coach DeWitt. “She was the difference. If she plays like that every game we will be difficult to beat.”
Anoka-Ramsey took on the host school Central Lakes, Saturday, Nov. 21, and picked up right where they left off Friday. Struggling a bit at the start with the zone defense, Central Lakes played, the game remained close until about the 14-minute mark of the first half.
“We weren’t patient enough and settled for too many perimeter shots, especially from behind the arc,” says Coach DeWitt.
Anoka-Ramsey shot a miserable 4 for 20 from outside the arc in that first period.
“Shot selection is crucial to the success of any offense,” continues DeWitt. “We need to understand that sooner than later if we want to have any success offensively.”
Defensively, the Rams again forced a high number of turnovers. CLC turned the ball over 17 times in the first half and 31 times for the game.
“We made some strides this weekend defensively in terms of getting a more consistent effort from certain people,” says DeWitt. “But don’t be fooled, we have a long way to go before I will consider us a good defensive team.”
Once again Anoka-Ramsey displayed balance on offense as five players scored in double figures. Stephanie Pilgrim and Marie Hanson, a freshman from Cambridge-Isanti paced the attack by scoring 22 points each. Alyssa Silva added 17 points. Jenna Anderson, a freshman from Ashland, Wisc., contributed 16 points which included 4 for 4 from 3-point range. Alex Moore rounded out the double digit scorers which 10 points while handing out 11 assists.
Anoka-Ramsey now stands 4 – 2 for the season.
The team will open their home season this weekend at the Coon Rapids Campus Gymnasium with games against Central Lakes and North Iowa Area Community College. Games are Friday, Nov. 27, 5 p.m., against CLC and Saturday, Nov. 28, 1 p.m., against NIACC.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College is a Division III Community College located Coon Rapids, Minn. and competes in the Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference. The team has won six national championships, the most recent in 2007 and been to the national tournament nine times.