The 11th-ranked State Fair Community College Lady Roadrunners shook off a slow start Jan. 13 and went on to defeat the Three Rivers Community College Lady Raiders 75-59.
The Lady Raiders grabbed a 4-0 lead to open the game. SFCC (15-2, 1-0) tied the game at eight courtesy of an offensive rebound and put back by sophomore guard/forward Dahlia Booker.
The Lady Roadrunners went on an 8-0 run with 11 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the half. Three Rivers cut the lead to three at 18-15 with nine minutes and 45 seconds left in the half. The teams traded the lead back and forth until halftime. Lady Roadrunners sophomore guard Ciara Leak took a sideline out of bounds, passed three-quarters of the length of the floor in about seven seconds and hit a runner as time expired to give her team a 37-34 lead at halftime.
“We were trying to push too much,” said Lady Roadrunners Head Coach Kevin Bucher. “You can't rush; you have to take care of the basketball. At halftime we talked about slowing the ball down and getting good shots. I thought Ebony (Davis) took over in the second half.”
SFCC found its posting early in the second half as sophomore forward Davis went to work. She was the catalyst for a 7-1 run, which put her team up 43-35 with 17 minutes remaining. Davis finished the game with 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, leading her team in all three categories.
The Lady Roadrunners extended the lead to 10 at 45-35, only to see Lady Raiders cut the lead to five at 45-40. The Lady Raiders cut the lead to five again with five minutes and 56 seconds remaining. Leak was fouled while attempting a three-point shot, stepped to the line and knocked down all three free throws to get the lead back to eight.
The Lady Roadrunners’ trademark full-court pressure defense began to take effect. SFCC knocked down a couple of fast-break buckets to take control of the game. The Lady Roadrunners grabbed a 72-59 lead and hit free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
Booker contributed 14 points and Leak added 13 points. She also dished out a team-high eight assists for the game.
SFCC will travel to Moberly Jan. 19 to take on the Moberly Area Community College Lady Greyhounds at 5:30 p.m.