NJCAA Championship Quarterfinals
No. 3 Pima CC 90 No. 6 Cape Fear CC 82
A memorable run to the program’s first national tournament came to a close on Wednesday night as the sixth-seeded Cape Fear Community College women’s basketball team saw its season-long 26-game win streak snapped in a 90-82 loss to No. 3 Pima Community College (Tucson, Arizona).
Coming off a strong fourth quarter performance the day prior to advance the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Quarterfinals, the Sea Devils fell to 26-2 overall as Region 10 Champions.
The Aztecs trailed by as many as 12, but Pima stayed within striking distance until grabbing a 53-50 advantage late in the third quarter after Shalise Fernander drained her fourth shot from long range. Pima remained in front for the rest of the way thanks to a solid effort from the free throw line. Sydni Stallworth sank 17 of 18 from the charity stripe to finish with a game-high 21 points. Fernander sank six treys to record a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Cape Fear went up 19-13 after the opening 10 minutes of regulation and the Sea Devils stretched their lead to nine, but Pima used a late push over the final 4:07 of the first half to keep it a two-possession game at the break, 41-36.
Ieshia Love and Jasmine Brown paced Cape Fear with 14 points apiece, while De’najah Porter chipped in with 13 points and eight boards. Desaree Green put in 11 to give the Sea Devils four players in double figures.
The Sea Devils shot just 37 percent from the floor and were outscored 24-15 in the third quarter. The fast-paced game included 51 total turnovers, while Prima held a 50-39 advantage on the glass,.
Down by four headed in the final frame, the Sea Devils were no strangers to battling until the end as Cape Fear kept it a ball game before running out of gas in the waning minutes thanks to an 80 percent shooting effort at the free throw line for Prima. The Aztecs finished 38-for-47 at the line and all five starters closed in double digits.
No. 6 Cape Fear drops to the consolation bracket as the Sea Devils look to keep their season alive against North Iowa Area Community College at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
No. 3 Pima plays No. 2 Illinois Central in the NJCAA semifinals at 7 p.m. eastern on Friday, March 18. Illinois Central defeated No. 7 North Iowa 85-71.