Panthers find way to claw past Tigers, 55-51

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 12, 2008

ROCHESTER &8212; Playing with three key players for the first time this season, the Rochester Century girls&8217; basketball team rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Albert Lea 55-51 Friday.

&8220;It is tough because that is their first Big Nine win, but up until this point they were playing without some key players,&8221; Albert Lea head coach Karol Hansen said. &8220;We did a lot of things well tonight but we did not shoot it as well as we have and I think when we started missing some shots we panicked a little.&8221;

The Tigers had great balance among their four key scorers getting 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists from Hali Hendrickson. Alyssa Sager, Abbey Arends and Morgan Stadheim all added 10 points. However, Century proved to be the deeper team helping it get the win.

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Albert Lea cut down on its turnovers committing just 15 after entering the game with an average of 24 per game on the season.

The Tigers also got off more shots than the Panthers in the game, but hit on just 32 percent of them compared to 42 for Century.

&8220;It was a very physical game and I don&8217;t think we were patient enough to set up what we needed to so we could get to the line,&8221; Hansen said. &8220;We are still adjusting to having all of our players back and that has changed some roles.&8221;

Albert Lea would be unable to get any closer than four or five points in the final minutes of the game.

The loss drops the Tigers to 1-6 in conference play.