Trinity Valley’s depth too much for Northwest State as Cardinals roll, 68-51
LUBBOCK, Texas – Trinity Valley’s offensive depth and athleticism proved to be too much for Northwest Florida State to handle as the Lady Cardinals used a big second quarter to take a 68-51 victory over the Raiders in the second round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Wednesday night at the Rip Griffin Center.
Trinity Valley (29-3) held Northwest Florida (22-12) to just four first-half baskets in building a double-digit lead in the second quarter, then holding off several Raider rallies in the second half to secure the win and a spot in the Elite 8. The Lady Cardinals will face Salt Lake Community College at 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday with a shot at the final four at stake.
Christalah Lyons led five Lady Cardinals with 16 points. Naomi Davenport added 13 points and Maya Singleton chipped in 11 points and 12 boards. Leah Mathis had 12 points and Troy Swain 10 in the win.
“We just wanted to come and play,” Trinity Valley head coach Gerald Ewing said. “We want to stay here until Saturday, but we didn’t come here to play, we came here to win it. The first half we played great defense. There were some big girls down there and I told my kids you have to get down in there and fight and they did today.”
Trinity Valley’s defense completely smothered the Raiders in the first half. Northwest Florida shot a frustrating 13 percent (4 of 31) from the field in the first 20 minutes, not scoring its first points until less than 4 minutes were left in the first quarter, then going more than 6 minutes in the second quarter without a point.
That effort allowed the Lady Cardinals to jump out to a big lead in the second quarter thanks to a 11-0 run that turned a close, 13-8 game into a 24-8 runaway and eventually led to a 29-11 halftime lead for Trinity Valley.
“That was a tough one,” Northwest Florida head coach Tamela McCorvey said. “We can’t expect, any team can’t expect to come out so flat and (start playing) in the third quarter against a good team. Had we not come out so flat it would have been a different outcome. But that game’s over with and it’s something to learn from.”
The Lady Cardinals also led the battle on the boards (26-19) and did all this despite nine turnovers. Trinity Valley outscored Northwest Florida 18-4 inside, led by nine points from Lyons and seven points from Swain.
Shami Goodman had five first-half points to lead Northwest Florida State.
Northwest Florida was much better in the second half, able to penetrate the Trinity Valley defense and also hit some big baskets from outside. The Raiders hit close to 48 percent (10 of 21) in the third quarter to pull to within striking distance.
But Trinity Valley matched the Raiders, hitting 62.5 percent in the third quarter to maintain a double-digit lead.
Northwest Florida managed numerous times to get the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter but could never get close enough to make a difference in the end.
Tia Sanders led Northwest Florida State with 15 points. Acey Powell added 12 and Goodman finished with 10