Johnson County outlasts Monroe to move to title game

Johnson County outlasts Monroe to move to title game

HARRISON, Arkansas- The MCC women's basketball team saw its chance at a national title dashed Friday night, as the Tribunes fell 70-66 to Johnson County Community College in the NJCAA Division 2 national semifinals.

Monroe (28-4) will play in the 3rd/4th place game at 6 p.m. Saturday against the loser of Kirkwood and Kankakee. Johnson County gets the winner in the title game.

Friday's contest lived up to its billing as the second-seeded Cavaliers and third-seeded Tribunes battled back and forth all night. Johnson County seemingly took control early in the fourth, as a free throw put the Cavaliers up 58-50. But the Tribunes rallied.

Lanay Rodney hit the offensive glass and her putback made it 58-52. Jaynelle Robinson added a free throw, and Shalix Hines got a steal and fast break layup to cut the lead to 58-55 with 5:56 remaining.

Rodney then added another lay in off an offensive board to cut it to one, and Hines hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie it at 58 with 4:27 remaining.

Johnson County broke the run with basket, but Monroe's Kathryn Kanhoye countered with a spinning layup to make it 60-all with 3:40 left.

The Cavaliers had the ball and a 63-62 lead with under a minute left when they came up with the game's biggest sequence.  Coming out of a timeout, Johnson County called up a play that freed Austin Richardson at the top of the key with the shot clock dwindling. Richardson calmly nailed the 3 with 38 ticks remaining to make it a two-possession game.

Hines added a layup and two free throws down the stretch for the Tribunes, but the Cavaliers hit 4-of-6 from the line to seal the win.

Rodney paced Monroe with 18 points and nine rebounds. Hines chipped in with 11 points and Sierra Green added 10. Robinson had eight points and seven boards and Torrie Cash also scored eight.