Trinity Valley disposes of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 67-53
LUBBOCK, Texas – Shakeela Fowler led four scorers in double figures with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 6 seed Trinity Valley Community College started early and finished late in a 67-53 victory over No. 11 seed Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship on Wednesday at the Rip Griffin Center.
Naomi Davenport added 14 points and five boards for the Lady Cardinals (28-5), who advance to the quarterfinals to face No. 3 seed Chipola College at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
“I was super-excited and at first I was anxious and just excited to get back on the court and play again,” Fowler said. “I was just happy to be here with my teammates and be where everybody thought we wouldn’t be right now.”
Malayasia McHenry added 13 points and Christalah Lyons chipped in 12 for Trinity Valley, and the two combined for 12 of the Lady Cardinals’ 38 rebounds.
Jennah Coffman led Northeastern Oklahoma A&M with 20 points off the bench, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and she was a key reason why the Lady Norse came out strong in the third quarter to quickly cut a 11-point deficit to single-digits.
“They played well for being off for seven days. I just hate that time frame for being off,” Trinity Valley head coach Gerald Ewing said. “They responded well to a pretty good team. I thought they would be a little more sluggish in their first quarter but they looked like they were ready to play. It surprised me they were able to pick it up that fast.”
But the Lady Cardinals answered with a 13-2 run to push the lead to 52-35 with at the end of the third quarter, and the Lady Norse struggled to close that gap in order to get back in the game the rest of the way, going scoreless the last 3:51 of the contest.
The 20 turnovers committed by the Lady Norse didn’t help, as Trinity Valley scored 24 points off those turnovers and outscored NEO 32-16 in the paint despite a distinct height disadvantage.
“I thought there, early on in the game, we started off well, but got a couple of our kids in foul trouble, a couple of our starters, and that kind of turned the game,” NEO head coach Jim Rowland said. “But I thought our turnover situation was really bad. When you have 20 turnovers, that’s tough to win a game. I really thought defensively we played well for the most part of that (game).
No other player for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M had more than the nine points produced by Kamry Orr and Maria Delgado.
“I thought (NEO having a game under its belt) would be a disadvantage (for Trinity Valley),” Rowland said. “I didn’t think we had a very good offensive game on Tuesday and I thought we would come out a little better offensively. But that’s a credit to Trinity Valley. Their defensive pressure took away some things.”
Trinity Valley’s defense made the difference in the first half, forcing 10 turnovers by Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and getting 15 points off those turnovers while shooting 47.1 percent in the first half.
The Lady Norse weren’t bad from the floor, hitting on 40 percent (10 of 25) and also draining 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Maria Delgado led the Lady Norse with nine points, but their next highest scorer was Jennah Coffman off the bench with eight.
Davenport led all scorers with 12 points for Trinity Valley.