Brown, Chipola move on to the semifinals with a 55-49 win over Tyler
LUBBOCK, Texas – De’Myla Brown quite simply just took the game over in the fourth quarter.
With No. 3 seed Chipola College trailing by four going into the final 10 minutes and head coach Greg Franklin looking for someone to help get his team over the hump, the sophomore from Little Rock, Arkansas obliged, putting her team on her shoulders and carrying the Indians into the semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championships.
Brown scored 13 of her game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, and Chipola rallied for a 55-49 victory over Tyler Junior College in the quarterfinals on Thursday at the Rip Griffin Center.
“That’s what she’s done all long for us,” Franklin said of Brown. I was really proud of her and Isadora (Sousa), and really proud of (Ifunaya Nwachukwu) who did a goo job for us and knocked down a couple of big threes. Not many people know she can shoot like that. We’re moving on and that’s all you can do right now.”
With the win, the Indians (20-4) move into the semifinals and just two wins away from the program’s first national title since 2015. To get there, however, Chipola will have to get past eight-time national champion Trinity Valley Community College in the semis at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Tyler, meanwhile, ends its impressive tournament run at 22-5 after picking up wins over Walters State and South Georgia Tech the past two days.
The Apaches almost made it three in a row after overcoming a sluggish start and building a 36-29 lead through the first five minutes of the third quarter. But the Chipola defense kicked into high gear and ended the quarter on a 7-4 run to pull to within four going into the final quarter and set the stage for the rally.
“The kids got away from running our stuff there for a little bit in the middle of all that, but we got back to doing what we do gest and going with our own identity,” Franklin said. “You can’t do anything different when you get out here. I think that’s usually the team that winds up winning it all is the one that keeps its identity once they get out here. We’ll have to make some adjustments because Trinity Valley is a good club.”
Chipola’s rally began with two free throws from Brenda McKinney, and then it was the De’Myla Brown show. She began with a 3-pointer than put Chipola up 41-40, then after Tyler regained the lead on a Taryn Wills bucket, Brown hit a free throw and two buckets to give the Indians a lead they would not relinquish.
Wills hit a jumper to pull the Apaches within two, but Brown answered with two free throws and a 3-pointer from the right wing, her third of the game, to put the game out of reach at 51-44. Nwachukwu added her second trey, and Jordan McLaughlin closed out her 10-point night with two free throws with 11.1 seconds to play for the final margin of victory.
While Brown got it done offensively, the Indians defense finally put the clamps on Tyler, holding the Apaches to 27.3 percent from the field and 32.2 percent for the game. The Indians managed just 26 points after halftime.
“They’ve got a super ballclub and they’re well coached,” Franklin said. “They’re one of the best teams we’ve had to play, and we’ve had to play Northwest (Florida State, also in the semifinals) four times and Gulf Coast four times. It’s one of those thanks that every night you have someone on the other team you have to stop, and who on our team wants to do it? Who wants to step up? I’ve got some really good leaders that did a nice job down the stretch. It was about them stepping up.”
Tia Morgan led Tyler with 13 points and Wills finished with 12.