North Central Missouri College top Southwestern Michigan 79-63

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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JOPLIN, MO. — Long-range shooting proved to be the difference in Southwestern Michigan College’s 79-63 loss to North Central Missouri College in the opening round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Division II Championship game Monday afternoon.

The Roadrunners, playing in a national tournament game for the first time since winning a national championship in 1994, were just 1-of-7 from 3-point range, while the Pirates, playing in the tournament for the third straight season, were 8-of-25.

North Central Missouri ended the day shooting 46 percent (28-of-61) overall from the field and 15-of-23 from the foul stripe.

Southwestern Michigan shot 36 percent (24-of-66) from the field and just 52 percent (14-of-27) from the charity stripe. The Roadrunners entered the game hitting 64 percent from the line.

North Central Missouri also dominated Southwestern Michigan in rebounding, 50-36.

Both teams struggled with handling the basketball as they combined for 47 miscues.

The Pirates (24-6) took an early led over the Roadrunners (26-4) and were able to maintain the advantage throughout the rest of the contest.

North Central Missouri increased its lead to 44-35 by halftime and had a double-digit advantage in the third quarter before Southwestern Michigan made a run to get into the contest.

The Roadrunners cut the lead to three points — 51-42 — with 7:35 to play in the third quarter.

The Pirates were able to fend off the challenge and led 58-52 heading into the fourth quarter. It would be all North Central Missouri in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The Pirates, who advance to face No. 1 overall seed Johnson County Wednesday, outscored the Roadrunners, who wrap up their 2023-24 season Wednesday against Costal Alabama – North, 21-11.



At Joplin, Mo.


Tori Meinecki 6, Nateonia Russell 10, Jessica Reeter 7, Bailey Fleming 6, Mary Copelan 13, A’Myah Bankston 10, Gladys Brown 11, LaKorria Brown 6, Oliviya Tioco 7, Abbi Fountain 1, Jacquelyn Cline 2. TOTALS: 28 15-23 79.


Amara Palmer 8, Macey Laubach 19, Cameron Thomas 13, Nalani Williams 4, Charlee Balcom 0, Kamryn Patterson 5, Katie Baumgartner 0, Junahya Johnson 6, Ariana Lemons 6, Alanah Smith 2. TOTALS: 24 14-27.


North Central                            23        44        58        79

Southwestern Michigan         15        35        52        63

3-point baskets: North Central 8 (Fleming 2, Bankston 2, G. Brown, L. Brown 2, Tinoco), Southwestern Michigan 1 (Laubauch). Total fouls (fouled out): North Central 19 (none), Southwestern Michigan 20 (none). Records: North Central 24-6, Southwestern Michigan 26-4