The Lady Greyhounds of Moberly Area Community College are heading to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Tournament for the first time since 2016 after clinching an automatic bid to the tournament on Friday night. MACC had to go on the road to earn their bid, traveling just over six hours in the process, as they defeated Northeast Community College 66-53 in Norfolk, Nebraska.
“Proud probably isn’t a strong enough word to describe how I feel about this group,” said MACC head coach Chad Killinger. “There aren’t a lot of teams out there that had to travel and play a true road game in order to secure their automatic bid, but our team rose to the occasion, once again.”
With the victory the #4 ranked Lady Greyhounds remained unbeaten on the season with a 32-0 mark as they extended their school record for consecutive victories.
MACC started the game on an 11-1 run as four different players scored and built a 14 point lead, 26-12, with a 9-0 run early in the second quarter. A second 9-0 run stretched the Lady Greyhound advantage to 20 just before halftime and they entered the midway break leading 37-20 behind 17 points from Angelica Wiggins.
“I thought we did a pretty good job of attacking them off the dribble offensively throughout the first half,” said Killinger. “Our shot selection and movement was also better early on, but one of the key factors was our effort on the offensive glass and we had that throughout the whole game.”
Northeast, trailing 42-24 early in the third quarter, would put together an 11-0 run to close to within seven points of MACC, but the Lady Greyhounds outscored the Lady Hawks 8-2 to end the quarter as they pushed their lead to 13 points heading into the final quarter of action.
MACC eventually saw their host pull to within six, 56-50, with just over three minutes remaining in the game as Northeast went on a 7-0 run, however back to back baskets by Anisha George following three offensive rebounds by the Lady Greyhounds over two possessions stretched MACC’s lead back to double digits.
“We had some defensive breakdowns throughout the second half and missed some block outs that gave them opportunities to cut into our lead,” said Killinger. “Offensively we became a little predictable, took some ill-advised shots, and turned the ball over trying to force things. But, we came up with some huge rebounds to maintain possessions and after they cut the lead to six we did a great job of closing the game out over the last three minutes.”
Wiggins continued her stellar play throughout the postseason, leading the Lady Greyhounds with 26 points. She added four rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. George recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
“We’ve had quite a few different players step up at different points in the season, and truly at different points in some games,” said Killinger. “Angelica has been terrific the last month of the season and Anisha came up with some extremely important buckets and rebounds on both ends of the floor tonight.”
Carnethia Brown netted eight points for MACC, while Lunden Henry scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds. Sentreal Gregory added seven points and Alexis Henry contributed 11 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
“It has taken us longer to get to this point than I hoped it would when we got here seven years ago, but all the hard work by everyone in our program over that time has culminated with this season,” said Killinger. “I’m extremely happy for our players because they have worked for this since last spring and it’s been a lot of fun celebrating our success and everything they have accomplished over the past month.”
The Lady Greyhounds will now wait until Monday morning to learn of their seeding and opponent for the National Tournament, which will be held March 19th-24th in Lubbock, Texas.