(Harrison, AR) – The Lackawanna College Lady Falcons defeated Sinclair CC 78-68 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the NJCAA DII Women's National Tournament. Lackawanna will square off against a Region XIX rival in Union County College tomorrow night (March 22nd) at 9:00pm eastern. This will be the 5th meeting between both teams this season with the series split 2-2.
The Lady Falcons found themselves in a battle early on Thursday night as Sinclair CC matched them shot for shot in the 1st quarter. Briaunna McCullough hit two 3-pointers early but was answered by a steady Sinclair offense. Just as Sinclair CC looked to move into the 2nd quarter with a moderate lead, Jamie Brann hit a 3-pointer to keep it close. Sinclair led 23-22 after the 1st quarter. The 2nd quarter was dominated by Sinclair's Amanda Schroeder. She finished with 27 points in the 1st half. It was a tough stretch for Lackawanna as Sinclair took back any ground the Lady Falcons gained. Jasmine Lewis hit a 3-pointer; then Schroeder came down the court and hit one back. The Lady Falcons trailed 47-37 going into halftime.
Lackawanna stepped into their largest deficit at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. The Lady Falcons trailed by 12 points by a score of 49-37. Coach Whittington made adjusts at halftime to keep the ball out of Schroeder's hands and it paid off. The Lady Falcons went on a 11-2 run and found themselves trailing by 1 point with just under 6 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Briaunna McCullough received a pass and did what she has done all tournament by hitting a wide open 3-pointer. She gave Lackawanna a 53-52 lead. The Lady Falcons continued their game plan, their execution, and a 23-6 run to fly into the 4th quarter with a 63-57 lead.
The final quarter saw Lackawanna continue to execute their half time adjustments. By cutting off Sinclair's scoring source, the Lady Falcons managed to hold their lead. Spectacular plays by Briaunna McCullough, Ciaira Loyd, Kyla Smith and Chyna Wooten propelled Lackawanna to a 78-68 win.
Briaunna McCullough: 22 points, 7 total rebounds, 2 blocks
Ciaira Loyd: 11 points, 8 assists, 6 total rebounds
Lackawanna will take on Region XIX rival Union CC tomorrow at 9:00pm for a chance to go to the NJCAA DII Women's National Tournament Finals. The game will be live-streamed on NJCAATV.com. For all your news and updates, please visit us on Facebook Lackawanna Falcons Athletics, Instagram @FalconsSports, and Twitter @falconssports
The photo used for this story was gathered from the NJCAA