Ancilla women solidfy standing in MCCAA while winning second straight

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By Staff
PLYMOUTH, IND. – The Ancilla women's basketball team moved one step closer to a Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) post-season tournament birth with a 47-42 victory over visiting Lansing Community College. The win solidifies Ancilla's spot in sixth place in the MCCAA West, placing them three games ahead of their nearest competitors with four conference games remaining. The top six teams in the West are invited to the MCCAA Tournament, beginning Feb. 19.
Factors contributing to the low scoring contest included both low field goal percentages (both teams combined for 30.4 percent from the field) and a high amount of turnovers (39 total by both teams).
Ancilla (11-11, 4-6 MCCAA) jumped out to an early lead at 15-11 with 5:58 remaining in the first half. Lansing (11-10, 5-5 MCCAA) used the next four minutes to go up by five, outscoring the Lady Chargers 12-3 in that span. Ancilla finished the half well, though, converting with a field goal by Jessica Shinsky (Niles, MI) with 30 seconds remaining and a last second three-pointer by Ashley Morales to tie the game at 23 going into the locker room.
Lansing hurried out to a nine point lead to begin the second half, scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the half and held most of that lead until about the eight minute mark, leading 39-31 at that point.
That's when the Ancilla long range bombing brigade began. Three straight three point buckets by Jena Martin, Jessi Jenkins, and Kristy Gilbrech put the Lady Chargers up by one with 4:07 left. Following a game tying free throw by Lansing, Ancilla continued their run with a three-pointer by Morales and an open look under the basket by Anissa Butler, putting the Lady Chargers up 45-40 with 15 seconds remaining. A quick field goal by Lansing got the Stars within three, but two free throws by Morales with seven seconds left sealed the deal for Ancilla.
"The run of threes got us back in it," commented Ancilla coach Dave Liverance. "But it started with our defense, getting pressure on the ball and great help from our help-side. This is the first time all season in conference that we beat a team ahead of us in the standings. Plus, it was a team win. Everyone contributed their part. That is what this team has to have down the stretch."
Morales led all scorers with 14 points, while Butler led Ancilla with 10 rebounds and dropped in seven points. Jenkins added nine points for the Lady Chargers and Martin led the team in both assists (4) and steals (3).
Ancilla's next game is at home on Wednesday, February 7 at 5:30 p.m. against NJCAA No. 17 Kellogg Community College (17-5, 7-3 MCCAA) at the Charger Area in the LifePlex. A win by Ancilla and losses by both Glen Oaks and Lake Michigan would seal a tournament birth for the Lady Chargers.
Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.