King, Caron-Goudreau lead No. 1 Gulf Coast State into NJCAA semifinals with 74-53 win.
LUBBOCK, Texas – Sophomore forwards Regina King and Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau combined for 42 points and 21 rebounds, and No. 1 seed Gulf Coast State advanced to the final four of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship with a 74-53 victory over eight-seeded Walters State on Thursday at the Rip Griffin Center.
The 6-foot-3 King finished with a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Commodores, who used a strong second quarter to go up by double digits and never looked back. Caron-Goudreau, also 6-3, added 18 points and 13 boards for Gulf Coast State.
“It was a struggle and that’s kind of been life for Gulf Coast here in the last couple of weeks,” Lady Commodores head coach Ronnie Scovel said. “I think the biggest complement to our team is they just find a way to win. One of our mottos kind of hallway through the season when we lost Audrey for (conference) play for four games is we just refused to lose. Today we didn’t play well again and just refused to lose.”
With the victory, Gulf Coast (30-1) punches its ticket for Friday’s semifinals. The Lady Commodores will face the winner between No. 4 seed New Mexico Junior College and No. 5 seed College of Southern Idaho at 5 p.m. CDT on Friday.
The Lady Senators had their chances to stay in the game but struggled from the field, hitting percent. Gulf Coast also used its size advantage by getting to the free-throw line and hitting 19 of 27 from the stripe compared to just 5 of 10 for Walters State.
Destiny Austin led Walters State with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Ant’Treasia Patton chipped in 10 points, but no other player for the Lady Senators had more than eight as Walters State sees its perfect season come to an end at 33-1.
“We still didn’t shoot the ball very well but I think a lot of that had to do with the team we played,” Walters State coach Dave Kragel said. “They got after us all over the floor. When you have to shoot over two towers down there, we had the ball in the paint all night long but we just could not cash in. It just wasn’t in the cards today.”
Gulf Coast came out of the game intent on using its size advantage and hit a couple of early buckets that forced a quick Walters State timeout. After regrouping, Walters was able to get back into the game from the outside, particularly from the 3-point range where it hit 4 of 9 in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Jaleya Mosley toward the end of the first half and another by Anesha Harmon to start the second quarter pulled the Lady Senators even at 12 all. Moments later, Walters scored five straight to take a 17-14 lead with just under 6 minutes left in the first half.
But Gulf Coast recovered to reel off 11 straight points, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Caron Goudreau to take control of the game at 25-17 with less than a minute remaining. Walters, however, closed the game with a pair of 3-poitners from Patton to pull to within 26-23 at the intermission.
Despite Gulf Coast’s size advantage, Walters State actually outrebounded the Lady Commodores 24-21 in the first half, including an 11-7 advantage on the offensive boards.
Destiny Alston and Patton led Walters State with eight points each while Goudreau and Regina King paced Gulf Coast with eight each.
The Lady Commodores finally took control for good late in the third quarter, outscoring Walters State 10-2 over a two-minute span to take a double-digit lead at 43-33 with 2:35 to play in the period.
Gulf Coast closed the third quarter leading 48-39 and Walters State never got closer than eight points the rest of the way as the Lady Commodores closed the game out with nine straight points.