---- — PLATTSBURGH — For Clinton Community College women’s basketball coach Donna Dixon, the halftime message was clear — attack the rim.
The Cougars (11-8, 9-8), who finished the game with four players in double figures, fired in 46 second-half points en route to a 66-30 win over rival North Country Community College in NJCAA women’s basketball Tuesday.
“We came out tight in the first half,” Dixon said. “We need to win games in order to get into the (Region III) tournament, and I think that played a role with nerves. We missed a lot of easy shots, but were able to respond in the second half.”
Peru graduates Stephanie Demarais and Kelly Kezar helped the Saints (7-16) to a combined 13 3-pointers in their seven-point win over Clinton Nov. 13, but were held to zero and seven points, respectively, Tuesday.
Former Northeastern Clinton standout Katrina Garrand finished with a game-high 16 points, while Alisha Ducatte (13), Emily Decker (12) and Becka Horton (13) combined for 38 points in the rout.
“We’re third in the region in points allowed per game, so we’ve got to score points,” Dixon said. “It was nice to get people involved (Tuesday). North Country plays hard, and they’re aggressive. I give them a lot of credit for playing us tough.”
Emily Lapage paced North Country with a team-high 14 points.
Garrand added six rebounds, seven assists, six steals and two blocks. Ruth Paul nearly reached double-double status, finishing with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Freshman forward Katelyn Gates had six points, six boards, two assists and three steals, while Decker was a force on the glass, grabbing eight rebounds.
The Cougars have five games remaining on the regular season schedule and travel to Jefferson Thursday for 5 p.m.
Clinton 66, North Country 30
North Country (30)
Kezar 0-0-0, Uras 1-1-3, Demarais 2-1-7, Branton 0-0-0, Lapage 6-2-14, Gary 1-1-4, Jock 0-0-0, Gausby 1-0-2. Totals: 11-5-30.
Garrand 7-1-16, Gates 3-0-6, Ducatte 5-2-13, E. Decker 5-2-12, Paul 4-1-9, Barber 0-0-0, Horton 3-2-13, Agony 0-0-0. Totals: 27-8-66.
Halftime: Clinton, 21-18.
3-point goals: North Country (3) Demarais 2, Gary. Clinton (2): Garrand, Ducatte,