Strong second quarter propels Salt Lake Community College past Vincennes, 66-51
LUBBOCK, Texas – Tilar Clark scored a game-high 23 points, and No. 3 seed Salt Lake Community College used a strong second quarter to blow open a close game and outlast Vincennes University 66-51 in the second round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship at the Rip Griffin Center.
Karina Brandon added six points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (31-2), who advance to the Elite 8 and will face either Trinity Valley Community College or Northwest Florida State at 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday for the right to go to the final four.
Our second quarter showed what we’re capable of doing, and I’m so proud of our effort even though we didn’t start the game as well as we could,” Salt Lake head coach Betsy Specketer said. “Certainly we had a great second quarter and that set us up for a great second half. Defensively we were really dialed in. We got some stops and with that stop it kind of let to some easy baskets in transition. Our defense led to our offense in that second quarter.”
Tied at 11 at the end of the first quarter, Salt Lake outscored Vincennes 18-5 in the second period to take control of the game. Vincennes (29-6) used a 16-6 run to pull to within 42-35 with 3:55 to go in the third quarter, but the Bruins answered by scoring the final eight points of the period to regain a double-digit advantage.
Vincennes never seriously threatened the rest of the way. The Lady Trailblazers got 21 points from Kyra Tucker and 18 from Brooke Dossett, 10 of which came during the spurt that got Vincennes back into the game.
But Salt Lake’s presence inside was too much for Vincennes. The Bruins outscored the Lady Trailblazers 33-22 in the paint and held a 43-33 rebounding edge.
“I thought we competed really hard, and I thought my girls played really hard,” Vincennes head coach Harry Meeks said. “I think the overwhelming thig was their size, not just that they’re taller than we were, but as a group they probably averaged more than we did in height and I think that wore on us as the game progressed. And they’re a better defensive team than I gave them credit for.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they were a factor in the final outcome.”
Vincennes struggled out of the gate, missing on five of its first six shots and committing three turnovers in the first five minutes of the game. Still, the Lady Trailblazers were tied at the end of the first period thanks to a 7-0 run that included five points from Kyra Tucker, who finished the half with 12 points.
Her 3-pointer with 3 minutes left in the first quarter put the Lady Trailblazers up 11-8. But Vincennes would go the next eight minutes without a point until Tucker’s second 3-pointer with just over 5 minutes left in the first half.
During that eight-minute span, the Bruins went on a 14-0 run, scoring the first 11 points of the second quarter to establish a 22-11 lead. By the time halftime rolled around, Salt Lake had outscored Vincennes 18-5 in the second period and led 29-16 going into the intermission.
Clark and Andrea Brady led the Bruins with seven points apiece in the first half.