Athletic Event

Prairie State College

Kempiak's last-second block preserves Chiefs' comeback win over PSC

Kempiak's last-second block preserves Chiefs' comeback win over PSC

Conference: Yes

Opponent: Pioneers at Chiefs
65 - 64 (W)

When her team needed her most, Mozelle Kempiak literally rose to the occasion. The 5’11” freshman center blocked a last-second shot attempt to secure Waubonsee Community College’s 65-64 comeback victory over Prairie State College. The Chiefs (14-11, 7-1) rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge the visiting Pioneers. The victory keeps Waubonsee in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference race, just a game behind leader Moraine Valley Community College (22-2, 8-0).

The Chiefs looked out of sync in the early going and fell behind 25-11 early in the second quarter. Waubonsee eventually got on track and only trailed by five (34-29) at halftime. Prairie State (14-8, 4-3) then extended their lead back to double figures at 52-41 heading into the fourth period. A 13-3 Waubonsee run over four minutes tied the game at 59-all with 3:30 remaining. The Pioneers made six turnovers, committed two fouls and missed a pair of shots during that span. A lay-in by Ariana Dampier put Prairie State back in front before Kempiak scored inside to knot the score with 2:30 left.

The Pioneers misfired three times before Lauren Goff then connected on a three-point shot with 1:43 to go to put Waubonsee in front 62-59. The visitors quickly responded with an inside basket before Goff again nailed a vital trey to give the Chiefs a 65-61 lead with 1:14 remaining. Prairie State’s Amber Gaynor responded with a three-pointer with 0:55 left to make it a one-point game. After a Pioneer’s timeout the Chiefs missed a mid-range attempt as the shot clock wound down. Prairie State grabbed the rebound with 0:25 remaining and then ran the clock down before working to get off a potential game-winning shot. Dampier got loose inside for a point blank attempt with just 0:05 left, but her shot rolled around and off the rim. Kempiak and Jala Wilson both got ahold of the rebound resulting in a jump ball, with the possession arrow pointing to the Pioneers with 0:03.6 to go. Inbounding the ball under their basket, Prairie State got the ball in the paint again. However, Dampier’s short jumper was cleanly blocked by Kempiak as the buzzer sounded.

Goff led Waubonsee with 20 points, including six baskets from beyond the arc. The freshman from Sycamore also snagged six rebounds and handed out four assists. Kempiak finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds, her 15th straight double-double and 19th this season overall in 25 games played. Alexis VanWhye chipped in with 11 points and grabbed eight boards, while Taseandra Parker added eight points and four assists.  

Waubonsee’s next game is this Thursday, February 9 when they host Morton College. The women’s contest is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. with the men slated to tipoff at 7:15 p.m. Both games will be streamed ‘live’ on-line at www.Waubonsee.edu/Athletics, and also broadcast on local cable television. Check your local cable provider for Waubonsee’s Educational Television channel.