NIACC press release:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Emily Bell could feel it.
Sophomore guard drained seven 3-point goals and scored 21 points to lead top-ranked NIACC to a 100-49 victory over Dakota College of Bottineau in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II women’s basketball tournament Tuesday.
Bell’s seven 3-point goals was one off the national tournament record of eight as NIACC advanced to Thursday’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal contest against either eighth-seeded Kankakee CC or ninth-seeded Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
“To come out here on fire was a great feeling,” said Bell, who was 7 of 14 from 3-point range. “Shots were falling and it was a great feeling.”
Bell now has 70 3-point goals this season and a career total of 104, which ranks third on the school’s all-time list.
Bell had been struggling with her shot as of late as she was held scoreless in the NJCAA Region XI semifinals and finals.
“I could feel it,” the former Algona Bishop Garrigan prep said, “and I knew I was going to be feeling it all night.”
NIACC coach Kelli Terrell said it was good to see Bell knock down some shots from long distance.
“We need Em this weekend,” the coach said. “It was good for her to get out the slump she’s been in. She hasn’t knocked down any threes in the last few games, but she’s been staying positive and staying after it.”
NIACC (32-2) was 18 of 47 from 3-point range in its first national tournament game in 20 years. Cortni Rush made three 3-point goals and the Lady Trojans also recieved two each from Chelsey Jacox, Connor Thompson and Taylor Bianchi and one each from Kadejah Young and A’Chieyah Sanders.
The 18 3-point goals for the Lady Trojans was one off their season best. The Lady Trojans made 19 3-point goals against Milwaukee Area Tech on Nov. 23 in a 129-74 victory.
It was the 11th time this season that NIACC has scored at least 100 points and eighth time the Lady Trojans have held their opponent below 50 points.
“We are happy with the way we played,” NIACC coach Kelli Terrell said. “They came out strong.
“Kadejah (Young) started us out right away by hitting a three and that kind of set the tone for the game. Our defense did what it was supposed to do. We shared the basketball and that’s when we play our best.”
Sophomore Chelsey Jacox led NIACC with 22 points followed by Bell’s 21. The Lady Trojans also received 11 points from Rush and eight each from Morgan Walker and Sierra Ford-Washington.
NIACC had 21 assists on its 35 made baskets. Reserve guard Alexis Boyd-Lockett led the Lady Trojans with six assists, Jacox had five assists and Lateeka Thompson had five assists.
Ford-Washington led NIACC with seven steals and Thompson had seven steals. The Lady Trojans recorded 30 steals and forced 39 turnovers.
So now NIACC, which has won 16 straight games, gets Wednesday off before playing in the quarterfinals.
“We need a day to see how things shake out and we’ll get ready for (Thursday’s) opponent.
In Tuesday’s game, no NIACC player played more than 20 minutes and everyone on the roster played at least eight minutes.
“It was about as good of a first game as we could have asked for,” Terrell said.
NIACC 100, Dakota College 49
Dakota College - Imani Scott 11, Tiffany Bradford 2, Savannah Bruce 14, Leah Parizek 2, Mackenzie Bickford 1, Dominique Staten 8, Shikiya Chase 2, Zirahuen Hernandez 4, Whitney Brandvold 5. Totals - 18-63 10-14 49.
NIACC – Kadejah Young 5, Chelsey Jacox 22, Lateeka Thompson 4, Sierra Ford-Washington 8, Cortni Rush 11, Ashley Cordle 2, Emily Bell 21, Connor Thompson 7, Ashleigh Onaca 3, Morgan Walker 8, Taylor Bianchi 6, A’Chieyah Sanders 3. Totals - 35-86 12-17 100.
3-point goals - Dakota College (3-15): Scott 2, Bruce 1. NIACC (18-47): Young 1, Jacox 2, Rush 3, Bell 7, Thompson 2, Bianchi 2, Sanders 1. Total fouls - Dakota College 17, NIACC 11. Fouled out - none.