|EMCC ends season with 70-62 consolation loss to Trinity Valley in NJCAA women's tourney|
SALINA, Kan. – East Mississippi’s Lady Lions saw a 12-point, second-half lead slip away against a hot-shooting Trinity Valley club in dropping a season-ending 70-62 decision Friday afternoon in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship held at the Salina Bicentennial Center.
Closing out the season with a 25-7 record, head coach Sharon Thompson’s 24th-ranked Lady Lions used a 12-3 run over the final 4:30 of the opening half to turn a seven-point deficit into a 27-25 halftime advantage. EMCC hit six of its first seven shot attempts after the break to mount a nine-point lead (40-31) by the 16:42 mark of the second stanza. With All-Region 23 performer Angelique Burtts scoring eight of her 17 second-half points in a minute’s span, the Lady Lions managed to stretch the lead to a dozen points (54-42) by the midway point of the half.
Sparked by the return of first-team All-American Jasmine Nelson, who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half as well as early in the second period, Trinity Valley then began to click on both ends of the floor. After Shareese Ulis and DeShawna Banks connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, the 6-foot-2 Nelson was free to operate more effectively in the post. The New Orleans native responded with a dozen second-half points and also made her defensive presence felt with six blocked shots in the closing period.
With Nelson, Ulis and Banks combining for 40 second-half points between them, the Lady Cardinals of Athens, Texas used a 21-4 run to secure a 63-58 lead by the 3:42 mark. Following Burtts’ driving score to make it a 63-60 game with 3:27 left, East Mississippi would not get another shot attempt to reach the rim until Burtts’ put-back basket at the end of the contest. EMCC had two shots blocked in addition to committing three turnovers down the stretch, as the Lady Lions could manage but four points over the final seven minutes.
In raising its season’s record to 27-8, 23rd-ranked Trinity Valley shot 58 percent from the field (14-of-24 FGs) in the second half, including 5-of-9 (56%) from three-point range, while also connecting on 12-of-15 (80%) from the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes of play. Ulis and Nelson led the way for the ninth-seeded Cardinals with 21 and 20 points, respectively, for the game, while Banks added 18 points. Nelson hit 7-of-9 field goals and 6-of-10 free throws on the day, along with disrupting EMCC’s offense with seven blocks.
Champions of the MACJC’s North Division and Region 23, the Lady Lions owned a 40-27 rebounding advantage in the elimination contest, but were slowed by 24 turnovers. Burtts, who will continue her collegiate career at Georgia State, paced East Mississippi with 24 points and 11 rebounds to register her 10th double-double of the season and fifth in eight postseason tournament outings. Columbus’ Jasmine Abrams and Martika Hull of Southeast Lauderdale also approached double-doubles for EMCC with 11 points each, along with adding nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 March 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|