ICC WBB advances to National Quarter-Finals with win over Pima CC

A yeoman’s effort on the boards and a sharp-shooting eye from three-point range catapulted the #8 seed ICC women’s basketball team to a 77-67 win over #9 seed Pima CC (Tucson, AZ) in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Hickory, NC. The Cougars doubled up the Aztecs on the boards (52-26) while cashing in on 9-18 three-pointers (including 6-8 for Derria Edwards) to advance to a Thursday night quarterfinal matchup against #1 seed Kirkwood.

Rebounding was a key from the start as Cierra McNamee scored the first two baskets on offensive put-backs. The Cougars were locked in defensively, forcing seven Aztec turnovers to help gain an 18-12 lead after one. Leading 22-20 midway through the second period, ICC went on an 11-3 run as Dayja Evans, Nia Williams and Edwards hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers (assists Williams, Evans, & Ayanna Gibbs) to open up a 37-26 lead and take a 41-31 edge into the half.

Edwards came out on fire to start the second half, hitting three’s on three consecutive possessions (two assists by Courtney Jones & one by Mitchell) to open up the Cougars’ biggest lead at 50-35 with 7:32 in the third. However, Pima tightened up their defense to force nine ICC miscues over the next several minutes to go on a 12-2 run and draw to within 54-47 heading into the final period. Jones hit a three from the left baseline and held a 62-53 lead on a Cierra McNamee basket (assist Edwards) but the Aztecs were also hot from long-distance and went on a to go on an 8-1 run and close to within 63-61 with 5:39 to play. Following a media timeout, the Cougars patiently worked the ball and Samaiya Buchanan hit Stafford on the block for a wiry finish and then Gibbs took a big charge on the defensive end to help keep Pima at bay. Edwards hit back-to-back treys (assists Stafford & Gordon) and was fouled on the latter one to complete the rare four-point play and give ICC a 72-61 lead with 4:25 to play. Pima drew to within 72-65, but ICC ramped up their defense and allowed only one more field goal the rest of the way to advance to the next round.

Game goals reached

+14 or more rebounding margin
Win 3 of 4 quarters

Took charge: Edwards, Gibbs
Win Blue Crew rebounding 21-8
Leading guard rebounder: Gordon
Leading post rebounder: Mitchell

Individual stats

McNamee (15pts/4reb)
Mitchell (7pts/7reb)
Gordon (9pts/7reb/3ast)
Jones (6asts/3pts)
Edwards (22pts/3reb)
Buchanan (1 ast)
Gray (2reb)
Metts (6reb/2pts)
Williams (3pts/4reb)
Stafford (4pts/3asts/2reb)
Evans (3pts/2reb)
Gibbs (8pts/3reb)

Next up

Thursday at 6pm CST vs. #1 seed Kirkwood. Game will be available for subscription at njcaa.org/network or Alex Staab will have the audio call (free) at mixlr.com/ICC-womens-basketball.