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.