The Jamestown Community College women's basketball team staged a big comeback on Sunday afternoon, but it came up 4.3 seconds short.
The Jayhawks were trailing the Niagara College Lady Knights from Welland, Ontario, by five points with 3:45 left to play. They battled back to take a one-point lead, but were still trailing by three with 16.9 seconds left. JCC coach George Sisson called back-to-back timeouts to set up a tying 3-point shot that was successfully hit from the top of the key by Ashley DePane with 4.3 seconds left.
The Lady Knights were out of timeouts and drove right back down the court, a little ahead of the Jayhawks' defense. Niagara's Shelby Johnson drove the lane and flipped up a shot that missed, but she was fouled just before time expired.
Above, Taylor Storer is about to drive around Allana Arundell of Niagara College during Sunday’s women’s basketball game at JCC. Below, Lauren Saglimben hits one of her six 3-pointers. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Jim Riggs
With no time left on the clock, she stepped to the foul line and made the first of a two-shot attempt to give a visitors a 61-60 victory.
''We'll learn from that,'' Sisson said. ''It's just a hard way to learn. I feel for the girls. I guarantee (at practice) on Tuesday we'll practice end-of-game situations and winning.''
And Sisson took the blame.
''I put that on coaching,'' he said. ''I haven't practiced a lot of end-of-game situations in practice. We've practiced some offensive situations when we need to score, but we had never practiced a game situation where we hit a game-winner or one to tie a game with four or five seconds and what are we doing. I'll take that responsibility.''
He added, ''I guarantee the Jayhawks will never lose another this year because of that. It hurts to learn like that.''
The loss give JCC a 1-1 record after an impressive 85-61 win at Tompkins-Cortland CC on Saturday to open the season. However, that win for JCC, an NJCAA Division II team, was over a Tompkins-Cortland team that is in Division III. In contrast, Niagara (2-1) is not a junior college and its roster includes a third-year, fourth-year and fifth-year player.
In contrast, Sisson noted, ''We're young,'' Sisson said. ''We start two girls that don't have any kind of college-playing experience.''
It was a good test for JCC very early in the season.
''This is actually a pretty good team,'' Sisson said. ''They beat Daemen. This team was not only better than TC3, but they were also bigger.''
That led to Niagara having a 37-27 edge in rebounding.
A big statistic that stood out was that JCC shot only 20 of 35 from the foul line while the Lady Knights were 21 of 27.
''I just don't want to talk all about foul shooting because that was just one of the situations today,'' Sisson said. ''I don't want any of those girls who didn't hit a foul shot or two along the way to think the loss was there because it really wasn't. It's a part of the game. You have to play offense, you have to play defense, you have to play situations.''
He added, ''I told them I don't want you to get out of here and think if I would have just made this play or I would have just made this play. We had 40 minutes. Basketball is nothing more than 40 minutes of continuous mistakes. Who maximizes and who minimizes (wins the game). So we can't go back and say well, foul shooting. How about our half-court offense? How about our half-court defense? How about clearing rebounds?''
The game was seesawing for the first 10 minutes when it was tied at 17-17.
A highlight for JCC was Lauren Saglimben coming off the bench and hitting two 3-pointers that put the Jayhawks in the lead.
It was reminiscent of Gabby D'Ercole, who in the past two seasons came off the bench an fired up the team and the crowd with her 3-point baskets.
''Lauren is going to play that role,'' Sisson said. ''I've told Lauren, when you're in the game and you catch the ball and you're squared up and your feet are under you, you've got to shot it. That is your strength, period.''
And it was Saglimben's third 3 that started an eight-point run that put JCC in front, 25-17, with six minutes left in the half.
But from that point, the Lady Knights outscored the Jayhawks, 15-8, to trail 33-32 at halftime and 11 of those points were from the foul line.
''We fouled way too much,'' Sisson said. ''We put them at the foul line. We fouled people to death in the first half.''
And there was a reason for the fouling.
''They handled our pressure a little bit better than we wanted to give up,'' Sisson said. ''I probably hung on with the press a little too long in the first half.''
And when halftime rolled around, Kristen Biela of JCC had three fouls while teammates Ashley DePane, Taylor Storer, Brook Draggett and Amy Sands had two fouls each.
After 10 minutes of the season half, Storer, Biela and Draggett had picked up their fourth fouls and DePane had three. But DePane had hit a 3-pointer and Saglimben had two more to kept JCC in front or behind by a point.
Niagara managed to move in front by five with 3:45 left to play, but DePane hit a free throw, Saglimben hit her sixth 3 and Alex Smith scored a pair to put the Jayhawks in front by one, 57-56, with 1:50 left.
Niagara moved back in front by three, 60-57, with 16.9 seconds left and with 13.6 Sisson called back to back timeouts to set up a play for a tying 3-pointer.
DePane inbounded the ball to Storer who passed to Beaver. DePane moved to the top of the key where she took a pass from Beaver and then drained a 3 to tie the game with 4.3 seconds left.
''All that was a dribble-drive weave, hoping I would break one of my three-point shooters open,'' Sisson said. ''They slid under and Ash got her feet under her and hit a wonderful shot.''
But Niagara, with no timeouts, didn't hesitate to inbound the ball quickly and drive down court. Johnson took a pass and streaked down the lane and put up a layup that missed, but she was fouled.
With no time left on the clock, she stepped to the line for a two-shot attempt and made the first for the 61-60 win and then missed the second.
Niagara finished with only one double-figure scorer, Kaitlyn McPherson with 18 points and 10 were from the foul line.
Saglimben led JCC with 18 points while DePane had 15 and a team-leading eight rebounds. Storer finished with four steals.
The Jayhawks return to action when they play host to Pitt-Titusville, a Division I team in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
At 7:30, the Pitt-Titusville and JCC men's teams will play.
Oliveira 0 0-0 0, Tanguay 2 0-0 4, Montgomery 4 0-0 8, van Leerzem 3 0-0 6, Wolfrath 2 2-2 6, Ross 0 2-2 2, McPherson 4 10-11 18, Johnston 3 2-5 8, Arundell 2 3-4 7, Brew 0 2-2 2, Totals 20 21-27 61.
Storer 3 2-2 8, Beaver 0 9-13 9, Sheldon 0 0-0 0, Biela 1 0-0 2, Saglimben 6 0-0 18, Draggett 1 1-3 5, DePane 3 5-14 15, Smith 1 0-0 2, Nicherson 0 0-0 0, Sands 0 1-2 1, Totals 15 18-34 60.
Halftime-JCC 33, Niagara 32. 3-point goals-Saglimben 6, DePane 2. Total fouls-Niagara 22, JCC 22. Fouled out -Draggett.