The Jamestown Community College women's basketball team used a different attack in each half to record an 85-73 NJCAA Region 3 Division II victory over the Niagara County CC Lady Thunderwolves, who came into the game ranked 18th in the nation.
In the opening half, JCC took a 44-30 lead thanks to a 20-point performance by freshman Elle Reed. In the second half, the Jayhawks wrapped up the victory by scoring 25 of their 41 points from the foul line. And they missed only one free throw in the last 20 minutes.
JCC moves to 16-4 overall and 3-0 in Region 3 Division II while NCCC is 21-2 and 2-1.
Elle Reed of Jamestown Community College, background, fires a shot over a Niagara County CC defender during Tuesday's NJCAA Region 3 Division II women's basketball game. In inset photo, Amy Sands drives to the basket. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Jim Riggs
Reed finished with a game-high 35 points while teammate Taylor Storer had 21 and Akiah Luceus had 11.
''I was feeling it, I guess,'' Reed said about her 20-point first half. ''Every play seemed to be working out for us.''
And so was the Niagara County defense.
''We thought they were going to be playing a 2-3 (zone) defense on us, but they came out and they were in man, so they kind of surprised us a little bit,'' Reed said. ''We like playing against man because in practice that's what we play, so we're pretty good at it.''
JCC coach George Sisson said, ''I was surprised they played us man-to-man the whole time. Everything we've seen them play all year is a 2-3 zone. We got ready to play against a 2-3 zone, they came out and play us man and we score 44 points in the first half.''
Reed was also a perfect 9-for-9 at the foul line and enjoyed that as much as her 35-point total.
''We practice foul shooting everyday for a long time,'' she said. ''And we always have competitions and the loser has to run and I don't like to run.''
Lacey Clark was 6-for-6 and Amy Sands was also perfect at 4-for-4. The foul shooting leader was Storer with 10-for-12.
''Like (Syracuse men's coach) Jim Boeheim used to say, it's having the right people shooting the foul shots,'' Sisson said.
The Jayhawks finished 34-for-41 at the line.
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''The reason we went to the foul line 41 times is because we attacked the rim,'' Sisson said. ''They're a good rebounding team and this might be the first time all year they've been outrebounded.''
JCC edged NCCC on the boards, 32-31, and Lacey Clark was the leader with 11.
After Niagara County took an early 4-0 lead, the Jayhawks came alive, especially Reed who gave a preview of things to come.
JCC went on an 18-2 run, with 10 of the points by Reed, to take an 18-6 lead after five minutes of the play.
After the Lady Thunderwolves cut the margin to six, JCC moved its lead back to 13 as Storer hit a 3-pointer and a couple of 2s in a three-minute span.
''We shared the ball well to start the game,'' Sisson said. ''We had real good continuity, we were comfortable running and got some good looks.''
Reed had been kept off the scoreboard for nine minutes, but then made up for lost time as she scored 10 more points in the final six minutes. That included her fourth 3-pointer of the half with seven seconds left to give JCC a 44-30 halftime lead.
Reed was 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and she was a perfect 2-for-2 at the foul line.
The Jayhawks shot 50 percent from the field, 15-for-30.
A different Niagara County team came out for the second half as the visitors went on a 15-6 run for the first 5 minutes to pull within five, 50-45. And with 9:45 left, the Jayhawks' lead was down to two. Then Storer scored five straight points to give JCC some breathing room.
However, with 2:26 left to play, the Jayhawks were leading by only five, 73-68, and Akiah Luceus had fouled out. But from that point, JCC went 12-for-12 from the foul line to lock up the win.
In all, the Jayhawks' last 18 points were on free throws.
Also, with Luceus out, sophomore Sands came in to help inside and JCC didn't miss a beat.
''Sands shows there's a level of 'veteraness' in there,'' Sisson said. ''She's rugged, she'll go get the ball first. She's seasoned.''
Niagara County had four double-figure scorers led by Jaclyn Welch with 23 points. Jesse DeWaters had 15, Kristine Ripson 13 and Albanellys Perez 12.
''That was an important game,'' Sisson said. ''It wasn't a do-or-die game, but it was important game to everybody to look around and know that we're a legitimate basketball team.''
Things won't get easier for the Jayhawks. They play at home again on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., against Monroe CC, which is ranked 17th in NJCAA Division I with a 17-3 record.
NCCC lost its first game of the season to Monroe on Saturday in overtime.
NIAGARA COUNTY (73)
Fiegel 2 2-2 6, Aikin 0 0-0 0, Welch 9 2-2 23, Perez 5 2-2 12, DeWaters 5 3-6 15, Ripson 6 1-2 13, Moyer 1 0-2 2, Faso 0 0-0 0, Kelkenberg 1 0-0 2, Totals 29 10-16 73
Storer 5 10-12 21, Milliman 0 0-0 0, Reed 11 9-9 35, Miller 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 6-6 6, Sands 0 4-4 4, Draggett 3 2-3 8, Luceus 4 3-5 11, Hannon 0 0-2 0, Totals 23 34-41 85.
Halftime-JCC 44, Niagara County 30. 3-point goals-Welch 3, DeWaters 2, Storer, Reed 4. Totals fouls-Niagara County 24, JCC 15. Fouled out-Luceus, DeWaters.