March 19, 2012

NJC loses grip on halftime lead, falls 67-61

By Jonathan Seib Journal-Advocate sports reporter

CASPER, Wyo. --It was so close that they could taste it. The Northeastern Junior College Plainswomen looked like they might have the inside edge and be able to walk away with the Region IX title and a shot at Nationals. The Otero Junior College Rattlers had other ideas and rallied back late in the game to win by six and head to Nationals. NJC lost 67-61.

The Plainswomen held a six-point lead at the half thanks to some high-percentage shooting in the first half and an edge on rebounds. The Plainswomen were up 35-29.

But a lid came over the basket for the Plainswomen in the second half, especially on three-point tries. Not so for the Rattlers, who shot 43-percent from beyond the arc and started hitting a flurry of shots in the back half of the second. Aubry Boehme worked the inside for the Rattlers, scoring, 17 to lead her team while Fernanda Mansilla lit things up from outside as she scored 15.

Hannah Pollart did what she could to keep the Plainswomen alive. She pulled down 12 of the Plainswomen's 38 rebounds, helping her team out-rebound the Rattlers by 12, and she scored 16 points. Ngone Ndiaye would also score 11 for the Plainswomen.

Late in the contest the game was still in reach, but the Plainswomen had to foul to stall the clock. While the Rattler would not shoot well from the line, they did just enough to keep themselves paced ahead of the Plainswomen.