The Moberly Area Community College women’s basketball team defeated Crowder College 70-48 on Saturday afternoon in Jefferson City to claim their first NJCAA Region 16 Tournament Championship since 2006. The victory allowed the Lady Greyhounds to remain perfect on the season with a 31-0 mark.
Crowder scored first to take a 1-0 lead, but Angelica Wiggins picked up right where she left off in the semi-finals on Thursday as she knocked down a three pointer from the left corner to give MACC the lead. After a basket by the Lady Roughriders tied the score Anisha George finished in the paint to give the Lady Greyhounds a lead they would never relinquish.
The score was tied in the closing seconds of the first quarter when Jocelyn Taylor banked home a three to give MACC a 16-13 lead and the Lady Greyhounds opened the second quarter with a 10-2 run, capped off by two free throws from Brianna Perry, as they stretched their lead to 11, 26-15, with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter. MACC went on to lead 32-25 at the end of the half as George led all scorers with 12 points.
A conventional three point play and two three point field goals from Wiggins, along with two baskets by Taylor, allowed the Lady Greyhounds to take a commanding 46-29 lead just four minutes into the third quarter. MACC eventually led by as many as 21 following a lay-up from Brianna Perry and entered the fourth quarter leading 56-38.
Crowder managed to get within 14, 59-45, with just under five minutes left in the game, but Wiggins responded with her fourth three point field goal of the afternoon and the Lady Greyhounds limited the Lady Roughriders to just one three point field goal the remainder of the contest as they closed with an 11-3 run to seal their first Region Championship in twelve years.
“This has been a remarkable season,” said MACC head coach Chad Killinger. “This group has been challenged in a variety of ways, but they pull together and have found a way to win every time they step on the court. I can’t say enough to express how proud and happy I am for them.”
Wiggins, who scored 19 points in the second half, finished with 22. She also added six rebounds, four assists, four steals, and three blocked shots. “If there was a tournament MVP it would have to go to Angelica,” said Killinger. “She really raised her level of play in the tournament, played with a lot of confidence, and showed why we have always had so much faith in her ability.”
George just missed notching her 13th double-double of the season with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Taylor just missed a double-double as well with 13 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. Lunden Henry scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Alexis Henry, who was coming off a superlative effort in the semi-finals against State Fair, had a game high 10 rebounds, while Sentreal Gregory recorded six assists and two steals. Perry added six points.
MACC shot 41 percent from the field and held Crowder to just 31 percent and outrebounded the Lady Roughriders 56-30.
“I’ve always had a lot of pride in being the coach here with all the accomplishments and history that surround both the men’s and women’s programs at Moberly,” said Killinger. “We have always tried to explain that history to our players and hope they understand what a tremendous opportunity they have in being a part of the program here. It’s exciting to know these players are truly a part of that history with what they have accomplished this season and I appreciate the effort that all our players over the past seven seasons have put in to get us to this point.”