OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - The MCC women's basketball team ran into a buzz saw in the form of Kansas City Kansas Community College in the NJCAA national semifinals Friday evening. The Blue Devils were zeroed in on the hoop from the opening tip and prevailed 81-59 over the Tribunes to advance to Saturday's national title game.
The Lady Tribunes (31-1) suffered their first loss of the season and will play Pima Community College in the 3rd/4th place game Saturday at 6 p.m.
KCKCC came out on fire and raced to a 22-10 lead after the first quarter. The Blue Devils hit four of their 13 total 3-pointers during the frame. The lead would have been even bigger had it not been for Monroe's Shanice Johnson, who came off the bench to convert a 3-point play as well as a pair of put-backs.
The Blue Devils pushed the lead to 17 early in the second before the Tribunes went on a 9-0 run to bring the lead back to single digits. Johnson had a jumper and a 3, Shyana McLeod hit a jumper, and Adre'onia Coleman had a rebound and layup to cut it to 31-23.
KCKCC pushed the lead back to 12 before Kiki Bynes hit a layup with time running down to trim the Blue Devil advantage to 37-27 at the half.
The lead stayed between 10 and 14 for most of the third quarter before the Blue Devils put the game away by scoring 26 in the fourth.
Johnson was unstoppable for Monroe. The sophomore forward finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds. But Johnson was the only Tribune in double figures. Bynes chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Blue Devils finished 13-of-24 from beyond the arc, compared to just 2-of-14 for MCC.