NJCAA Division II National Tournament
Chiefs fall to fourth-seeded KCK in first round of National Tournament
Opponent: #4 seed Kansas City Kansas Community College (29-3)
53 - 72 (L)
(Overland Park, KS.) – The fourth seeded Kansas City (KS) Community College Blue Devils gradually pulled away to defeat Waubonsee Community College 72-53 in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament. The loss drops the 13th seeded Chiefs (26-8) into the loser’s bracket of the 16-team, double elimination tournament. Waubonsee is now slated to play the loser between fifth-seeded Owens (OH) Community College (26-6) and 12th seeded Dean College (24-4) from Massachusetts tomorrow, Thursday, March 17, beginning at 1:00 p.m. All the tournament games can been seen ‘live’ on-line at NJCAA.TV. For more information go to www.jccc.edu/cavs/njcaatournament.
Waubonsee, making its second consecutive appearance at the National Tournament, jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the opening minutes. The Blue Devils (30-3) responded and eventually secured a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Chiefs leading scorer, returning All-American Julianna Wadsworth, then got into foul trouble early in the second quarter. The Blue Devils took advantage and outscored Waubonsee 23-14 in the second period to head to the locker room with a 37-26 halftime lead. With Wadsworth a relative non-factor, the trio of Coriesha Bailey, Jenae Rowe and Elizabeth Skaggs kept Waubonsee in the game. The Chiefs trailed 54-42 heading into the final period and had several chances to get within striking distance. Down 56-47 with eight minutes remaining, a three-point attempt by Bailey which would have brought Waubonsee within six points, rimmed out. The Blue Devils then connected from beyond the arc on their next two possessions to extend the lead to 62-47 with seven minutes to go. Waubonsee, which committed an uncharacteristic 28 turnovers for the game, never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Bailey tallied a game-high 22 points, snagged seven rebounds and handed out five assists. For the season the sophomore point guard from Rockford East High School has now dished out 232 assists to lead all NJCAA Division II players in that category. Rowe finished with a double-double, her 11th of the season, netting 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with three steals. Skaggs scored all nine of her points in the second half and hauled down five boards. Wadsworth finished with just five points, well below her season average of 20.6 points per game.