Lee Women Open NCCAA Tournament With 66-58 Win
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Despite All-American Hollie German playing only 23 minutes because of foul problems, Lee called on three other seniors to help direct the club past host Grace College in the opening round of the NCCAA Division I Basketball Championships on Wednesday afternoon.
German, who sat out almost the entire second half, came back with just over eight minutes remaining and nailed eight crucial free throws as the Lady Flames turned away a valiant effort by the Lady Lancers. 66-58. Lee advanced to face Roberts Wesleyan (NY) who upset 3rd seeded Oklahoma Christian earlier on Wednesday.
"We are certainly going to have to play much better against Roberts Wesleyan," said coach Marty Rowe after his Lady Flames improved to 24-5 on the year. "They are a very good basketball team. We've got to work on getting back to where we were playing when we ended the regular season."
While German was converting 11-of-11 free throws, including a couple of charity tosses when Grace head coach Scott Blum was hit with a key technical foul with some seven minutes remaining. German's 23-point total moves her to within 12 points of tying the all-time career scoring mark held by Vikki Clemmons.
Coach Rowe praised the efforts of his club with German on the sidelines. Junior Madison Lee nailed a pair of 3-pointers. She finished with eight points, three rebounds, one assist and four big steals. Rachel Lockhart battled for nine points, four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
With Karley Miller in foul trouble, her senior running mate, Myriah Iles, stepped up to pour in 10 points and garner four rebounds. Miller scored only two points but the senior ripped down eight rebounds, distributed three assists and came away with a steal. Jenna Adams almost produced her 14th double-double of the year with 15 points and nine rebounds.
"We've got to spend some extra time working on Jenna's shot selection," admitted Rowe. "We know and she knows the areas where she can score the basketball from."
The Lady Flames shot only 33 percent from the field and 24 percent from behind the arc. They stepped to the free throw-line and knocked down an impressive 19-of-24.
Lee had its problems with a pair of Grace players. Juaneice Jackson scored from inside and out and finished the evening as the game's leading scorer with 27 points. Allison Kauffman was the only other serious scoring threat for the Lady Lancers. She was deadly from the charity stripe, canning 14-of-15 and totaling 20 points.
Several key areas helped produce the hard-fought win before the fired-up Grace crowd. The Lady Flames forced 22 Grace turnovers and committed only 13. They out-scored the Lady Lancers in points off turnovers 24-15, points in the paint 30-18 and second chance points 13-3.
"Grace College was definitely better than the No. 8 seed," declared Rowe. "I also did not think coach Blum deserved the technical foul. We will get our team back to the hotel and get some needed rest before we play the 3:30 game on Thursday."
Thursday's action will be aired on 101.3 FM and 1570 AM. WCLE also streams the radio broadcasts around the world.