Throughout Saturday’s NJCAA Division II Region IV District L semifinal with Elgin, the IVCC women’s basketball team was in major foul trouble.
The Lady Eagles battled foul trouble both in the first half and down the stretch in the postseason contest at Oglesby.
In the end, it proved fatal as No. 2-seeded IVCC saw its season come to close Saturday with a 65-62 loss to the No. 3-seeded Lady Spartans.
Despite the foul trouble, IVCC trailed only 41-35 at half as it played most of the half without Sydonia Daniels and Asya Williams, both of whom sat for extended period of time with foul trouble.
“The first half, I thought we were lucky to only be down six points and not 16,” IVCC coach Pat Cinotte said. “Neither (Daniels or Williams) played a lot, and neither were able to get in a rhythm at all. We tried and even when we tried to get the ball into Brytney Bennett it just was not in the flow of our offense at all.”
The Lady Spartans led throughout most of the night, but IVCC was hot on their trails despite its struggles.
Alex Dumoulin was the leader for Elgin all night.
One of her two 3-pointers gave the Lady Spartans a 46-39 midway through in the second half.
However, about the time, it was the Lady Eagles’ turn to go on a run.
IVCC’s Arnisha Thomas and Daniels fueled the run, and then Radijah Parker got into the mix as the Lady Eagles closed the deficit.
However, during the surge, the foul woes continued as Daniels picked up her fourth foul.
It, however, didn’t fully stop the IVCC rally as a 3-point field goal by Marquette alumna Jessica Jessen completed the comeback and gave the Lady Eagles a 52-50 lead.
However, just when it appeared things were going to go the Lady Eagles way for good, the bad luck bug hit again.
With IVCC hanging on to a slim lead, it appeared that Elgin had stepped out of bounds to give the ball back to the Lady Eagles.
One official whistled that IVCC had possession, but as the Lady Eagles started to inbound the ball another official came in and ruled that Elgin had called a timeout.
Moments later, the Lady Spartans hit a jump shot to take a 57-55 lead.
Not long after, Daniels picked up her fifth foul on what looked like it could’ve been a three-point play for IVCC.
Despite Daniels fouling out, Thomas and Bennett hit back-to-back shots to give the Lady Eagles a 59-57 lead.
Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, Dumoulin converted on a three-point play as Elgin retook the lead at 60-59.
Down, IVCC was not out.
With just under 20 seconds left and IVCC down 63-61, Thomas was fouled while shooting and went to the free throw line hoping to tie the game at 63.
However, she missed the front end of two free throws as IVCC trailed 63-62.
With the Lady Eagles forced to foul, Elgin drained both of their free throws to increase the lead to 65-62.
Ottawa alumnus Kara Kistenfeger launched a half-court shot at the buzzer but it missed to give Elgin the win.
Thomas scored team-high 24 points and added nine rebounds for IVCC (22-9), while Dumoulin scored a team-high 28 points for Elgin.
Note: With the win, Elgin moves into the Region IV District L title game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against top-seeded Kishwaukee. The winner will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
Brad Martin can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.