As has happened before this season, the Jamestown Community College Jayhawks got themselves into a hole they couldn't climb out of and the result was an NJCAA Region 3 Division II women's basketball loss.
The visiting Mercyhurst Lady Saints took an 11-point lead in the first half and extended it to 21 in the final 20 minutes. JCC could get only as close as 14 points and went on to lose, 71-55.
The defeat drops the Jayhawks to 14-9 overall and 2-5 in Region 3 Division II while Mercyhurst North East is 12-8 and 5-2.
Lauren Saglimben of Jamestown Community College, right, is closely guarded by Mercyhurst North East’s Haley Schaef during Tuesday’s NJCAA Region 3 Division II women’s basketball game. See additional photos at email@example.com.
P-J photos by Jim Riggs
While practice makes perfect, JCC coach George Sisson pointed out that poor practice leads to imperfection.
''I thought some of the mistakes we were making Monday in practice showed up tonight,'' he said.
They mainly showed up in the turnover column where JCC finished with 23 as compared to nine for Mercyhurst North East. And those turnovers resulted in plenty of points for the visitors.
''There's a difference between turnovers and unforced turnovers,'' Sisson said. ''I think we had a lot of unforced turnovers.''
However, he did find a bright spot in the game.
''I told the girls tonight all is not lost because there were some people who did things that we haven't had,'' Sisson said.
And heading that list was sophomore Kristin Biela, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
''If she can step up now and do that for us down the stretch this season, that will change us,'' Sisson said.
JCC got off to a good start by allowing Mercyhurst North East one shot, grabbing the rebound and heading down court to score for an 11-5 lead. However, the Lady Saints came alive by applying press and went on a 25-7 run for a 30-18 lead with five minutes left in the first half.
During that run, Lenay Simms of MNE had nine points.
''They called a timeout, they went into their press and we knew they were going to give us that press,'' Sisson said. ''For two straight possessions we didn't break it in the system of how we want to do it. They get a couple more possessions and before you know it, it's a 10-point game.''
He added, ''I told the girls early in the game, don't get fooled by us hitting a couple threes because we did. We hit a couple threes. But when you start missing threes, they get long rebounds and breakouts and that's what we wanted to stay away from.''
The Jayhawks managed to stop the bleeding with a run of five straight points, capped with the first of two putbacks by Biela after missed free throws.
At halftime, the Lady Saints' lead was back to double figures at 38-28.
The Jayhawks needed a quick start in the second half to get back on track. Instead, they saw Simms convert a three-point play when action resumed and that sparked the Lady Saints to a 16-5 run in the opening 7 minutes for a 21-point lead, 54-33.
''That was a three-point play that they didn't earn the hard way,'' Sisson said. ''Six seconds into the half and they have an old-fashioned three-pointer.''
Thanks to a second three-point play by Biela, JCC managed to pull within 14 with 8:55 left to play. But they could get no closer as Simms continued to shine for MNE en route to a game-high 26 points.
''I was happy with the fact that we continued to battle because this team put their foot on our throat down there,'' Sisson said referring to a 67-37 loss at Mercyhurst North East. ''Today we battled them.''
Kirsten Holmes had 16 points for MNE while Marissa Williams had 11.
Kelsie Beaver and Ashley DePane led JCC with 14 points each.
The Jayhawks play again at home on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in a Region 3 Division II game against Genesee CC, a team that has won only one game. JCC defeated the Lady Cougars at GCC last month and will be expected to again. But Sisson is concerned about how they do it.
''We want to win it the way we want to play,'' he said. ''I just want to win it not turning the ball over, being able to run our stuff, and with our girls executing what we want to do and how we want to do it.''
MERCYHURST NORTH EAST (71)
Gamble 1 1-2 4, Simms 9 7-13 26, Williams 4 2-3 11, Campbell 2 0-0 5, Schaef 2 0-0 6, Childs 1 1-2 3, Holmes 7 2-2 16, Totals 26 13-22 71.
Storer 2 0-0 4, Beaver 5 2-2 14, Sheldon 0 0-0 0, Biela 5 3-4 13, Saglimben 0 0-2 0, Draggett 2 2-3 6, DePane 4 6-8 14, Smith 1 2-2 4, Nickerson 0 0-0 0, Sands 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 15-21 55.
Halftime-Mercyhurst North East 38, JCC 28. 3-point goals-Gamble, Simms, Williams, Campbell, Schaef 2, Beaver 2. Total fouls-Mercyhurst North East 17, JCC 14.