COLUMBIA — It was getting to be too much.
Early in Columbia College's women's basketball showdown with the college across the city, Stephens College, junior center Denise Rosario was finished dealing with it.
After losing the ball inside, surrounded by three Stephens Stars, Rosario lashed out, tackling the girl going for the ball, causing uproar on the opposing side and shouts for a technical foul.
"They were just hanging on me the whole time. I got a little frustrated," she said smiling after the game.
It was called a personal foul, but from that point on, Rosario took over the game.
Rosario, a Brazilian transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, used her size and physical presence Saturday to preserve the Cougars' 11th win in conference play, scoring 18 points, 12 of them coming in the first half, and eight rebounds in Columbia College's 85-64 win over Stephens.
Rosario took the lessons from the previous day's practice into the game.
"We knew it was going to be a physical game," senior Whitney Widaman, who led all scorers with 20 points, said. "At practice yesterday, the coaches were throwing 'bows just trying to get us to play physical and give us a heads up."
It was a team effort that got the Cougars the win, particularly from Widaman and Rosario.
With about 13 minutes left in the first half, Widaman went on a 12-point run to give the Cougars a sizable lead.
"I was really feeling it," she said. "If they're going to leave me open, I'm going to shoot."
It was that run that Rosario said she thinks sparked her game down low.
"Our inside game wasn't working early because of the double-teams," she said. "Her shooting outside really opened it up inside for me."
"It's really worked well the past couple of games," Widaman said.