Cougs Fall in National Semi-Finals

The #8 seeded ICC women’s basketball team lost to #4 seeded Johnson County CC (Kansas City, KS) in the semi-finals of the DII women’s basketball national tournament in Hickory, NC on Friday night. JCCC controlled the boards (snagging 18 offensive boards) while limiting ICC’s chances in the paint to get the win.

The Cougars started the game with bang, as scores by Kayla Gordon and Kristyn Mitchell gave ICC a 6-0 lead. JCCC converted a four-point play which got them on track but ICC still led 8-3 after Mitchell scored again (assist Courtney Jones). The Cavaliers took control of the game midway through the period as they went on a 13-2 run to take a 17-11 first period lead.

ICC drew to within 19-17 on free throws but then turned the ball over on four straight possessions while JCCC hit back-to-back three-pointers to go up 29-17. A Cierra McNamee basket (assist Dayja Evans) and five points by Nia Williams kept ICC within striking distance at the half at 32-24.

The Cougars needed to start the half strongly if they were going to bridge the gap, but JCCC had other ideas as they opened on a 12-4 run to go up 44-29. A Dayja Evans three-pointer (assist Williams), charge taken by Ayanna Gibbs, and Gordon three-ball and layup gave the Blue & Gold some momentum, but they still trailed 50-41 after three quarters. Evans and Stafford hit three-pointers and the Cougars picked up their defensive pressure but JCCC handled the press without error, which did not allow the Cougars a chance to put a dent into the deficit before the final buzzer sounded. They will look to rebound on Saturday in the 3rd place game as they take on Parkland.