Trinity Valley races past Southern Idaho for 75-49 victory, berth in quarterfinals.
LUBBOCK, Texas – Abby Carter scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, and Trinity Valley overcame a slow start to put together three dominant quarters en route to a 75-49 victory over No. 6 seed College of Southern Idaho in the second round of the NJCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship Friday night at the Rip Griffin Center.
Brian Peguero and Kaila Kelley chipped in 13 points apiece for the Lady Cardinal (27-6), who trailed 9-5 at the end of the first quarter but used a 13-1 run midway through the second quarter to seize control of the game and never look back.
With the win, the Lady Cardinal advance to the quarterfinals for the eighth time in the last nine years at the national tournament. Trinity Valley will square off with No. 3 seed Georgia Highlands at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Trinity Valley not only got the job done on the offensive end – scoring 75 points against a team that came into the game allowing fewer than 52 points per game – but the Lady Cardinal were also dominant on the defensive end, despite having a distinct height disadvantage as Southern Idaho boasted five players standing 6-foot-1 or taller, including 6-5 center Emilia Nworie.
Trinity Valley outrebounded Southern Idaho 53-39, including a 21-12 edge on the offensive glass which led to a 16-8 edge in second-chance points. The Lady Cardinal also forced 20 Southern Idaho turnovers and turned those in to 23 points.
Makiyah McCollister added 11 points for the Lady Cardinal.
Sadie Gronning led the Golden Eagles with 17 points and Nworie added 16 points before fouling out with 6:03 to play in the game.
The Golden Eagles got off to a solid start, scoring seven of the game’s first nine points. And when Sadie Gronning drained a 3-pointer from the left wing, Southern Idaho had a 12-7 lead.
That’s when the Lady Cardinal went to work. A McCollister 3-pointer from the right wing gave Trinity Valley its first lead of the game at 14-12, but that was just the beginning. Six straight free throws, four of them from Abby Carter, extended the lead to 20-13 on a 13-1 run with 3:38 left in the first half.
Defensively the Lady Cardinal put the clamps on Southern Idaho. After Gronning’s trey, the Golden Eagles didn’t make another basket until Emilia Nworie converted a three-point play with 2:46 to go in the first half, a drought of almost six minutes. The Golden Eagles managed just three free throws in that span.
Trinity Valley won the first-half rebounding battle 26-20 while forcing 11 Southern Idaho turnovers, which led to a 12-4 advantage in points.
The second half was more of the same at the Lady Cardinal opened up the third quarter on a 7-2 run and limited the Golden Eagles to just three buckets in the frame. Nworie tried to get Southern Idaho back into the game in the fourth, but Trinity had an answer every time.