The Pioneers hosted Palm Beach State College last night in their first home conference game. The Pioneers, who recently lost to Miami Dade and are 0-1, were looking to pick up their first conference win.
Opening minutes showed a confident and steady Pioneer team as they took control early in the quarter. Freshman Reniaya Burr made her first start for the Pioneers and hit a three point shot to spark the River. But drives by Joseline Ramos found Palm Beach a step behind and their early foul trouble sent Ramos to the free throw line several times. Unable to find their rhytmn PBSC fell behind in the first quater to a score of 16-12. The second quarter increased the gap in score as the Pioneers held several of Palm Beach's players to just a bucket. The Pioneers defensive effort and ability to attack the rim found them in the lead once again 17-10 at the end of the quarter, bringing the halftime score to 33-22 River.
Palm Beach came out of the locker room making some offensive adjustments that challenged the Pioneers. Palm Beach guards, Luna and Smith, hit a three point shot each to ignite Palm Beach's fire. The River traded buckets for a majority of the quarter as they look to transition on the Cougars behind the aggressiveness of IRSC point guard Cyann Fox. Freshman post Alexis Siler also showed some post power as she dropped in a couple buckets for the River before the horn sounded to end the quarter. The Pioneers held the slight edge 19-17 to bring the game to it's final quarter. The fourth quarter displayed the Pioneers ability to finish a game, something they had been struggling with in prior games. IRSC's freshman, Reniaya Burr, stepped up again to hit two big three point shots to extend the Pioneers led. The Pioneers held steady and ended the final quarter 18-12, bringing the final score to 70-51 in favor of the River.
"Reniaya Burr did a tremendous job as a freshman stepping into her first starting role," said Diana Couch IRSC head coach "sometimes you never know how that will go, but she handled the pressure. Tonight was a team win as everyone contributed and worked together in so many areas. Edley Drawhorn pulled another double double down and without Cyann fox dishing out those assists some players would not have scored. It was just so nice for our program to see the teamwork coming together. From the bench to the boards this team was working hard against a tough Palm Beach team."
Edley Drawhorn led the Pioneers in steady scoring throughout the game and finished with another double double recording 16 points and 12 rebounds. Cyann Fox had an impressive game, also recording her first double double as she dished out 10 assists alongside her 15 points. Freshman Reniaya Burr pulled out a college career high 15 points in her first start and Freshman Joseline Ramos and Kiara Cadore contributed 8 points each.
The Pioneers move to 6-11 overall for the seaosn and 1-1 in conference play. The River will return to action on Friday, January 19th at home as they face ASA-Miami for a 5:00 p. m. home game tip off.