The women’s basketball team from Moberly Area Community College traveled to Quincy, Illinois this past weekend to play in the Town & Country Inn and Suites Classic hosted by John Wood Community College.
The Lady Greyhounds led from start to finish as they defeated perennial NJCAA powerhouse Johnson County Community College, who came into the game ranked #2 in the country at the NJCAA Division II level, on Saturday by a score of 64-60.
MACC took a 39-21 lead into halftime as they connected on six of 11 three point attempts in the first half. Sentreal Gregory came off the bench to score 13 first half points. Anisha George nearly notched a double-double in the first half with nine points and seven rebounds, while Carnethia Brown added eight first half points.
A 9-0 run to begin the second half stretched the lead to 27, 48-21, with 5:55 remaining in the third quarter, but Johnson County continued to battle and trimmed their deficit to 17, 53-36, by the end of the third quarter.
The Cavaliers continued to mount their comeback as the fourth quarter began and pulled to within six, 57-51, before a basket by Gregory. However, Johnson County eventually got to within one possession of the Lady Greyhounds until Brianna Perry converted a pair of free throws and Brown scored on a put back to give MACC a six point, 63-57, lead with one minute to play.
“I was extremely happy with how we played in the first three quarters,” said Killinger. “We turned the ball over way too many times in the 4th quarter and probably started playing more to not lose than to win. However, we showed good composure over the final two minutes to pick up a great win against a very good program.”
The Lady Greyhounds placed four players in double figures with Brown scoring a team high 16 points, she also added four assists. Gregory finished with 15 points and three steals. Perry scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds, and recorded four steals. George had her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Alexis Henry had six rebounds and four assists.
MACC shot just over 40 percent from the field and held Johnson County to 34 percent shooting. The Lady Greyhounds knocked down seven of 17 three point attempts, compared to nine of 25 for Johnson County, and outrebounded the Cavaliers 46-33.
On Sunday, MACC faced a John Wood Community College squad that they had defeated 86-38 during the second week of November and came away with a hard fought 60-48 win.
“I knew this was going to be a difficult game given the score of our first game back in November,” said Killinger. “But, I was pleased with our ability to stay committed on the defensive end of the floor and that kept us in the game.”
The Lady Greyhounds scored a season low six points in the first quarter of action as they shot two of 14 from the field and two of eight from the free throw line. Despite their offensive struggles they managed to take a 21-20 lead at the half.
The score was tied at the end of three quarters of play, but the fourth quarter belonged to MACC as they started the final period with a 10-3 run and ended it on a 9-4 run, holding John Wood to just four points over the final nine minutes of the game. The Lady Greyhounds secured the 12 point victory by shooting over 50 percent in the second half and limiting their host to 31 percent shooting.
MACC forced 38 turnovers in the contest and finished the day shooting 41 percent, despite not making a single three point attempt. John Wood became the second team to outrebound the Lady Greyhounds as they held a 44-29 advantage on the boards.
Brown led the MACC offense for the second straight game, netting 15 points and garnering five steals. George was the only other Lady Greyhound to reach double figures in the scoring column as she scored 10 points. Angelica Wiggins added eight points, while Gregory had seven points and four steals. Jocelyn Taylor had a career high nine steals and grabbed five rebounds. Lunden Henry led MACC with seven rebounds.
“I think the game on Saturday took a lot out of us,” said Killinger. “So, I was proud of our girls for finding a way to win. When shots aren’t falling and the ball isn’t bouncing your way you have to dig a little deeper and I thought we did that. We didn’t get rattled and we got great effort on the defensive end from several players, especially Carnethia and Jocelyn, and that was the biggest factor in us coming out on top.”
The Lady Greyhounds have just two games remaining before they receive a little time off over Christmas Break. On Thursday they will host the junior varsity squad from Missouri Baptist University and on Saturday they will travel to St. Louis to take part in the St. Louis Community College Shootout, where they will face Southeastern Illinois College.
“This is always a tough time for junior college teams,” said Killinger. “We have finals coming up, the kids are starting to look forward to being able to spend some time at home with their families, and we still have some business to take care of on the court. But, we’ll try to concentrate on taking things one day at a time and one game at a time, the same as we have up to this point.”