Sunday, March 12, 2017

JCSU Falls to IUP 59-55 at NCAA Atlantic Regional

CALIFORNIA, Pennsylvania -- Second-seeded Indiana (Pa.) used a big third quarter spurt to build a 14-point lead and had to withstand a late Johnson C. Smith University rally to take a 59-55 win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Basketball Atlantic Regional at Hamer Hall on the campus of California University on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Bulls started strong, jumping to a quick 7-3 lead and extended the lead to 10-5 after senior MaryAnna Moore (Laurens, S.C.) hit a free throw at the 6:26 mark. Indiana battled back to tie the game at 12-12 and would take a 23-16 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Crimson Hawks put together an 11-4 run over the final 2:36 to gain the advantage.

The IUP lead would swell to 27-16 at the 7:11 mark of the second quarter following two free throws from Lauren Wolosik. JCSU then scored six straight points on baskets from Anika Jones (Shelby, N.C.) Blaire Thomas (Waterloo, Iowa) and Kendall Adams (Opelika, Ala.) to cut the IUP lead to 27-22 with 5:01 remaining before halftime.

IUP then closed out the half on a 6-4 spurt to lead 33-26 at the break.

The Crimson Hawks then took control in the third quarter gaining their largest lead (40-26) with 8:25 left. The lead would stay in double digits for a majority of the quarter, but JCSU was able to cut the IUP lead to just six points (43-37) with 34 seconds left on another basket from Moore, making it 43-37 going into the fourth quarter.

In the final quarter, JCSU got baskets from senior Krista White (Dayton, Ohio) and Jones to further cut into the IUP lead, trimming the deficit to just 43-41. IUP then quickly went ahead 48-41 after two Megan Smith free throws followed by a Wolosik three-pointer at the 6:56 mark.

JCSU again cut the lead to three points on two separate occasions. The first coming after a Moore completed a three-point play by getting a layup in traffic while being fouled. Her free throw made it 48-45 with 5:43 to play. After an IUP basket, Thomas would get a layup to fall to make it 50-47 with 4:49 to play.

IUP then embarked on a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 57-47 with 1:56 to play. The Golden Bulls once again charged back, thanks to two Moore free throws followed by a layup and free throw from Thomas with 30 seconds to play, making it 57-53. JCSU then began fouling and IUP hit a free throw to go up 58-52 with 22 seconds left.

On the next JCSU trip, Thomas connected on a straight-away three pointer to make it 58-55 with just 15 seconds left. JCSU then fouled again and IUP connected on a free throw with nine seconds left, but JCSU was unable to get any closer as a three pointer was missed with less than five seconds to go to seal the 59-55 win for the Crimson Hawks, ending JCSU's championship season.

The Golden Bulls got 13 points from Blaire Thomas and 10 from Kendall Adams. Krista White concluded her JCSU career by scoring nine points and fellow seniors Anika Jones and MaryAnna Moore each had eight points.

As a team, JCSU shot 40% from the field on a 22-of-55 effort and was just 21.4% (3-of-14) from three-point range. JCSU also shot 57.1% (8-of-14) from the free throw line.

IUP got a game-high 20 points from Lauren Wolosik, as she led four players in double figures. Brittany Robinson added 12 while Carolyn Appleby and Megan Smith each had 11 in the win.

JCSU concludes their season as the CIAA Champions, finishing with a 22-8 overall record.

The win improves IUP to 24-6 overall. The Crimson Hawks will take on fellow CIAA institution Virginia Union in the semifinals on Saturday.



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