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Women’s College Basketball: Moraine Valley pulls away for win over Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College's Kanitral Averhart drives against Moraine Valley's Nariman Jaber. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

Joliet Junior College's Kanitral Averhart drives against Moraine Valley's Nariman Jaber. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 21, 2014 11:31AM

Back and forth Moraine Valley and Joliet Junior College went nearly all night Thursday. Down the stretch, though, the Cyclones made all the plays necessary to make sure the pendulum swung their way at the end.

In a game that featured 11 lead changes, the Cyclones outscored Joliet 25-9 over the final 8 minutes, 22 seconds to pull away for a 61-47 win in Palos Hills.

“We’ve been struggling down the stretch lately,” Moraine coach Delwyn Jones said. “(Thursday) we had the execution necessary to win. We played with aggressiveness and energy and that’s what we’ve been looking for.”

Providence product Katie McGann scored 21 points, Stagg alum Maggie Yandel finished with 19 points and five rebounds, and Nariman Jaber (Argo) had four points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots for Moraine (7-6).

Le’Royia Campbell paced the Wolves (4-7) with 12 points and seven rebounds. Samantha Wurtz (Minooka) added 11 points.

Joliet led 38-36 with 8:25 to go after a basket from Alexis Ogelsby (Plainfield East), but scored just three points over the next seven minutes.

Jaber converted back-to-back putbacks to give Moraine the lead for good. Three-pointers from Amanda Weiss (Shepard) and McGann and a pair of layups from Yandel quickly helped stretch the lead to 52-40.

“We kept up our intensity on offense and on ‘D’,” Yandel said. “We didn’t give up at all. Our subs came in and kept up the same intensity.”

Moraine forced 17 second-half turnovers and 25 total.

“Our 1-3-1 was really effective,” McGann said. “We got a lot of turnovers off it.”

The Cyclones trailed 22-17 at the half, but McGann quickly sparked them in the second half, scoring 10 points in the first 3:16.

She started the surge with a four-point play 50 seconds in and added a pair of treys, the latter giving Moraine a 29-27 lead.

“I guess I just felt it,” McGann said. “I just started hitting shots.”

Sam Holler (Sandburg) added seven points for Moraine.

Kanitral Averhart had nine points and six rebounds, while Brittany McWaine finished with seven points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves.

“We’re a young team and we’ve been in situations lately where we look at the scoreboard and see we’re down and we get tight,” Joliet coach Shaun Sanderson said. “We get nervous. We take bad shots and we stop hitting the boards. Turnovers killed us.”

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