By Chuck Livingston
MSCC Sports Information
The Evening Times Sports Editor
The MSCC Lady Greyhounds just couldn't seem to get over the hump.
Despite trailing by 9 points at halftime, and as many as 15 in the second half, the Lady Greyhounds battled back to within 2 points late in the contest, before falling 82-78 in the Region 2 title game against North Arkansas.
MSCC finishes its season 6-16. North Arkansas will advance to the district title game that will be played next week.
The Lady Greyhounds went through a late coaching change just before classes began in August and a slew of personnel moves around Christmas to host the Region 2 championship game for the first time in school history. MSCC won the Region 2 title last season, but won the game in Harrison against North Arkansas.
"I'm real proud of us over these past 3 games," said MSCC head coach Andy Stoglin after the game.
Kierra Adams posted 21 points and 11 rebounds for MSCC in her final game for the Lady Greyhounds. Also making her final appearance in the MSCC uniform was Sasha Giles, who went for 15 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. MSCC also got 19 points from Ivory Thornton.
North Arkansas got 19 points from Cara Barrett, and 16 apiece from Kaitlin Powell and Kodee Powell.
The Lady Pioneers closed the first half on a 23-4 run to seize a 39-30 halftime lead. Before that, MSCC was in control, leading 23-16 and hitting over half of their shots.
"We came down and shot the ball too quick," said Stoglin simply. "If we were a smarter team, we'd understand the situation a little better. With two of our better offensive players on the bench, we may pass the ball a little more."
In addition to heating up from the field, North Arkansas forced nine MSCC turnovers in the first half, as well as winning the rebounding battle 26-22 after 20 minutes.
Things stayed the same in the early moments of the second half as the Lady Pioneers picked up where they left off in building up a 75-60 lead before MSCC hit the comeback trail.
In just under three minutes, MSCC had trimmed the lead all the way down to 77-70 behind 4 points from Giles and 5 from Adams.
A Victoria Broady three-point basket brought the Lady Greyhounds within two points with 6.2 seconds remaining, but Barrett canned a pair of free throws to set the final score and end MSCC's season.
"All things considered, I'm proud of our team," said Stoglin. "I'm really surprised that we played as well as we did."
MSCC will lose 3 sophomores next season, including arguably two of the best Lady Greyhounds in school history in Adams and Giles, as well as Broady. In addition, Stoglin will be stepping down from his interim head coaching position as MSCC hires a full-time women's head coach for next year.
"We are very grateful to Coach Stoglin for stepping in and coaching the team this season after being put in a tough situation," said MSCC Athletic Director Chris Parker. "The process is going well, and we look forward to naming a coach in the coming weeks who will establish a culture and build a program that will represent us well as we transition into the Arkansas State University system."