SHERIDAN — The little mistakes late in games that the Sheridan College women’s basketball team made prior to the Christmas break weren’t as impactful as they are now. The nonconference portion of the schedule, while important, pales in comparison to the importance of games with Region IX.

With conference season now in full swing, those minor errors in crucial moments of contests have cost the Lady Generals in a couple games, including Wednesday night’s 76-62 loss to Casper College inside the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.

“I told our girls this in the locker room, ‘There’s no excuses. There are none,’” SC head coach Ryan Davis said. “But I think in situations like tonight we have proven, time and again, that we make freshman mistakes. We tighten up, and [Casper College] has four sophomores that they play, and they don’t do that.”

Sheridan battled back from a double-digit third-quarter deficit to make it a 60-58 game on a bucket from Cynthia Green with 8:35 to play in the contest. From then on, the Lady Generals were outscored 16-4.

“Casper, they’re a really good team, and we can’t have ups and downs,” Sheridan’s Noora Partimaa said. “We have to be more solid.”

The loss dropped Sheridan to 11-8 overall and 1-2 in conference play. The Lady Generals started off the season with victories in 10 of their first 13 games, but have since stubbed their toe on more than one occasion.

SC has lost four of its last five games, and three of those defeats were decided by two possessions or less. Little mistakes loom large in close games such as those, and that’s an area of concern moving forward.

“The difference between us being second in the region right now and being where we are at —because I truly think we are probably just behind Casper — is making those little mental errors,” Davis said. “… We are this close. We either get there or we don’t, and if we don’t, we have a disappointing year. That’s the difference between a disappointing year and a year we can feel good about. We have to change it or we aren’t going to feel good about the year.”

Parttimaa awoke from her minor slump and tallied 19 points to lead SC. She connected on six 3-pointers, which kept her team in a first half that saw them trail 21-12 after one quarter and 39-27 at halftime.

Tala Tuisavura added nine points off the bench. Aloma Solovi and Lani Taliauli chipped in eight points apiece.

The Lady Generals hit just 36.9 percent (24 of 65) of their field goal attempts, while the Lady Thunderbirds — who were led by Lucie Hoskova’s 24 points — made 39.3 percent (22 of 56) of their shots from the floor.

Sheridan College travels to Laramie County Community College Saturday. The Lady Golden Eagles are 11-7 overall and 2-1 in Region IX play.

Final

Casper College……21 18 21 16 — 76

Sheridan College…12 15 19 6 — 62

Scoring

Casper College — Hoskova 24; J. Johnson 17; B. Johnson 11; Baena 8; Ferrer-Bernad 6; Soos 5; Bayazit 3

Sheridan College — Parttimaa 19; Tuisavura 9; Solovi 8; Taliauli 8; Walker 7; Green 4; Hoyer 4; Oca 3

Rebounds

Casper College 41 (Hoskova 12); Sheridan College 39 (Taliauli 5)

Assists

Casper College 14 (J. Johnson 5); Sheridan College 14 (Taliauli 5)