Back-to-back three-point plays for visiting Johnson County Community College’s Cavaliers in a minute’s span allowed them to get the separation they needed from Allen County Community College’s Red Devil women.
The Red Devils were staying with the NJCAA Division II fifth-ranked Cavaliers in the first half Monday. A basket by Maurissa Shaffer made it 21-20 with 5:30 left in the first half.
Melissa Nelson and Liz Smith completed the three-point plays for Johnson County. Those boosted thelead to 30-23 on Johnson County’s way to a 73-56 win.
“We’re young. In spurts we play really well and other spurts we look like we don’t know what we’re doing,” said Andy Hamilton, ACCC head coach.
“They hit shots when they needed to and we weren’t ready to respond.”
When Nelson, who led all scorers with 27 points, hit a three with 1:01 left in the first half, Allen County’s Breanna Shaw drained a three. Allen County trailed 35-27 at halftime.
Shaw opened the second half with another trey, cutting the margin to five. The Cavailers pushed the lead back to 12, 42-30, by the 17:12 mark.
Down 46-35, Allen County mounted a comeback. Jazmynn Johnson hit a baseline jumper and Shawn scored. Johnson sank one of two free throws and when Kynesha Nisbett scored with 13:41 left, the margin was back to four.
Johnson went inside, was fouled, hit a free throw then was fed the basketball again for a basket. Allen County had trimmed the deficit to three, 48-45.
Coming out of a timeout, Nelson took control of the game for Johnson County. She scored the next six points.
With the score 54-48, Johnson County used a full-court, trapping defense. It created three straight ACCC turnovers that the Cavaliers converted into seven points.
“I thought we played solid defense and took care of the basketball better than we have but when they switched their defense, we didn’t adjust,” Hamilton said.
“I did a bad job of responding to it also. I don’t take quick timeouts because I want the girls to learn how to make the adjustments on the court.”
Allen County did not recover from the Johnson County surge near the seven-minute mark of the second half.
The Red Devils suffered their fifth loss in a row. Hamilton said the Red Devils had improved “since they beat us by 33 points in December (97-64).”
Allen County is 1-8 in Jayhawk Eastern Division play and 7-14 overall. Johnson County improved to 7-2 and 19-2.
Cowley County (9-2, 16-2) comes to Iola Wednesday. Allen County did not play at Independence Saturday. The game was postponed by Independence until Feb. 8.
Allen County shot 32 percent, 21 of 66, from the field and went 6 of 10 at the free-throw line. The Red Devils had 38 rebounds, 14 assists and 14 turnovers.
Shaw fired in 17 points, which included four threes, and controlled eight rebounds. Johnson had 14 points. Dysyan Malone had eight rebounds and four assists and Shaffer had four assists.
“Jazmynn played well and Dysyan had an average game. We still were going toe-to-toe with Johnson County for most of the game,” Hamilton said.
“We’re still erratic at point guard and it showed at times. We need to handle the basketball better and take advantage of every possession.”
Johnson County got 17 points from Smith while Emile Blakesley added 14 and Crista Bechard had 13 points. The Cavaliers shot 40 percent, 25 o 63, from the field and dropped in 15 of 20 free throws.
Allen County (27-29—56) (FG/3-pt): Shaw 2/4-1-3-17, Shaffer 1-0-2-2, Malone 1/1-0-1-5, Best 2/1-2-0-9, Rockhold 0-1-1-1, House 0-0-1-0, Nisbett 1/2-0-3-8, Johnson 6-2-3-14. TOTALS: 13/8-6-14-56.
Johnson County (35-38—73) (FG/3-pt): Bechard 3/2-1-1-13, Brown 0-0-2-0, J. Smith 0-0-1-0, Nelson 6/2-0-2-27, Bird 0-2-2-2, Blakesley 1/4-0-2-14, Crow 0-0-1-0, L. Smith 7-3-2-17. TOTALS: 17/8-15-13-73.
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