Defense, rebounding lead Vincennes to upset of Northeast
LUBBOCK, Texas – Marley Miller had a game-high 15 points, and 19th-seeded Vincennes College pulled off the upset of 14th-seed Northeast Community College, 57-51, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship at the Rip Griffin Center.
Brooke Dossett and Chelsea Bentley added 11 points each for the Lady Trailblazers (29-5), who advance to face No. 3 seed Salt Lake Community College at 5 p.m. CDT on Wednesday.
“We knew it would be a tough basketball game and they have a very good team,” Vincennes head coach Harry Meeks said. “We’re really pleased to win our first game. I thought we had a little bit of the first-game jitters and didn’t shoot the ball from the outside nearly like we have been, but that will come. I’m especially pleased with how we finished the game.”
A 9-0 run midway through the second quarter helped Vincennes get some separation from Northeast (28-5), and the Lady Trailblazers were able to hold that lead the rest of the way.
Neither team shot the lights out, both just under 33 percent. But Vincennes was able to dominate the glass (54-42) while hitting on 15 of 26 free throw attempts compared to just 8 of 15 for Northeast.
The Lady Hawks pulled to within two possessions at 51-47 with 5 minutes remaining in the game, but Vincennes held off Northeast with just enough free-throw shooting while limiting the Lady Hawks to just two field goals the rest of the way.
“The whole team is disappointed in how we played,” Northeast coach Matt Svehla said. “We hadn’t played in awhile and it looked like we’d ben off for a moth. Our anxiety maybe got the best of us and sometimes that has a reverse effect, you’re so amped up that you can get kind of flat and not perform.”
Northeast just spent too much time trying to reel Vincennes in after falling behind early. Down 9-2, the Lady Hawks pulled to within two thanks to a 6-0 run and trailed by just four at the end of the first quarter, then started the second quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 15-14 lead.
But the Lady Trailblazers stopped that run by reeling off nine straight points to lead 23-15 and didn’t stop until they had gone on a 15-4 run to take a 29-19 advantage into the halftime lockerroom.
Northeast slowly chipped into the lead, cutting it to six at 35-29 midway through the third quarter but still trailed by eight heading into the fourth. Again the Lady Hawks were able to make it a two-possession game midway through the final period, but Vincennes hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold the Lady Hawks off.