Cold shooting NCCC cagers upset in regional semifinals
Plagued throughout by ice cold shooting, top seeded host Niagara County Community College was upset by No. 4 Mercyhurst Northeast 44-42 this afternoon in the semifinals of the Region 3 women’s basketball playoffs.
Medina’s Alba Perez had 7 points, Roy-Hart’s Jesse DeWaters 5, Akron’s Ashtin Fiegel 4 and Albion’s Tanisha Moyer 3 for NCCC which could not get untracked offensively shooting a frigid 22 percent (16 of 71) from the field.
Despite clicking on only 6 of 35 first half attempts, NCCC did hold a slender 18-15 football type of score lead at the half.
Back-to-back baskets by Perez at the outset of the second half on a rebound and a layup helped keep NCCC up 26-21.
A three by Jaclyn Welch, who led NCCC with 14 points, gave the Thunderwolves a 29-25 lead with 12 minutes to go.
However, Mercyhurst answered back with what proved to be a decisive 13-2 run to rally into the lead for good by seven at 38-31 with less than four minutes to go.
Another three by Welch pulled NCCC back to within two at 40-38 with 1:12 to go but the Thunderwolves could not pull even.
Mercyhurst put a lock on the upset victory as the Saints hit four straight clutch free throws to open up a 44-39 lead with only four seconds to go.
DeWaters hit a three in the final second for NCCC but it was too little, too late.