Women’s College Basketball: Cold-shooting Moraine Valley bows to Kankakee in Region IV-D title game
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media March 8, 2014 3:42PM
Nariman Jaber, center tries to split the defense of Yeshiva Blackman, left and Emily McKenna, right.Moraine Valley vs. Kankakee women's basketball in NJCAA Division II Region IV title game, Saturday, March 8, 2014. | Joseph Cyganowski-For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 10, 2014 6:57AM
For Moraine Valley’s women’s basketball team, two first-half stats told the story Saturday.
The Cyclones were outrebounded 35-14 in the half by Kankakee Community College and saw the Cavaliers go 19-of-22 from the free-throw line while the Cyclones were just 2-of-2.
It added up to a 47-24 halftime deficit and a 79-56 defeat to Kankakee, the No. 10 team in the nation, in the NJCAA Region IV-D championship at Elgin Community College.
“When a team shoots 22 free throws in the first half and you shoot two, that’s difficult to overcome,” Moraine coach Delwyn Jones said. “Whether that was the referees or whether it was us not blocking out or a combination of both, that killed us. You can’t win a game when that happens.”
Nariman Jaber (Argo) had 14 points and seven rebounds and Jamilla Jones (Eisenhower) 11 points and seven rebounds for Moraine, which won 10 of its last 12 games to finish 22-11.
Taylor Roach (16 points) and Manuella Kanmegni (15 points, 10 rebounds) led top-seeded Kankakee (27-6), which clinched a berth in the National Tournament.
Kanmegni, a 6-foot-4 center from France, was one of many players to give Moraine fits on the glass. The Cyclones did not face a major height disadvantage, but were beaten to rebounds far too often to stay in the game. Kankakee had 13 second-chance points in the first half.
“They were quicker to the glass, but it’s easier to be quicker when you don’t have a body on you,” Delwyn Jones said. “We didn’t do a good job blocking out and I think that’s what hurt us more than anything.”
Moraine was within 24-18 with eight minutes left in the first half, but was outscored 23-6 the rest of the period. The Cyclones got no closer than 17 points in the second half.
Moraine finished just 22-of-74 from the field. Katie McGann, normally the team’s best shooter, was shut out on 0-of-9 shooting.
Marian Catholic graduate Sarafina Handy scored nine points for Kankakee and was named the Tournament’s MVP.
“This is what we’ve been working for all year,” she said. “It feels great. We came out here and made sure we played our game.”
Aileen Gorman (Marist) scored eight points for Moraine and was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Jamilla Jones.
“We just lost,” Jamilla Jones said. “We’re 22-11 and we made it this far, so there’s no regrets. I’m just going to miss all these girls.”