OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - The MCC women's basketball team staged a furious rally but came up one point short, falling 74-73 to Pima Community College to finish in fourth place at the NJCAA Division II national tournament.
Shanice Johnson's last-second shot in the paint was just a bit long as Pima escaped with the win. The Lady Tribunes finish 31-2 on the season.
Monroe trailed by as many as 16 in the first half before chipping away at the Aztec lead. The Tribunes closed to within two on three different occasions in the third quarter, but Pima rebounded to push the lead back to 10 early in the fourth.
MCC battled back again, and Deja Carroll hit a baseline 3 and converted a 3-point play to cut the Pima lead to 63-60. Pima responded, as it did all night, to push the lead back to five.
Alexis Brito followed with a three and Johnson came through in the paint, and MCC tied it at 65 with 3:16 left in the game.
Pima came back with a 3 before Johnson hit a layup to stay within one with 2:36 remaining. But the Aztecs followed with a pair of baskets to restore a five-point lead.
MCC wasn't finished. Brito hit another 3, and Johnson scored in the paint and later added a free throw to put Monroe up 73-72 with 26 seconds left.
After a foul, Pima hit two free throws to go back up by one. Johnson was then whistled for a travel, but Monroe forced a 5-second violation on the ensuing in-bounds play to get one more shot.
Johnson, who was the go-to player the entire tournament for the Tribs, got in the lane for one last shot. But the ball bounced off the back of the iron and caromed away.