Quest for NJCAA Division II national title ends in Elite Eight for Sinclair women

After surviving with just five players on the roster earlier in the season, the Sinclair Community College women’s basketball team saw its quest for an NJCAA Division II national championship reach an end after falling to Lackawanna College, 78-68, in the Elite Eight.

The Tartans rebounded by defeating Illinois Central College in a consolation game, 71-67. In that contest, Amanda Schroeder led all scorers with 30 points, and the 6-foot sophomore also grabbed 11 rebounds, and added three blocks and three steals. Kierre James scored 19 and Keeara Nared contributed 17.

Now 28-5, the Tartans seasons is not done. They play Pima Community College in the NJCAA fifth place game Saturday at 3 p.m.

Sinclair arrived in Harrison, Arkansas to face undefeated Niagara County Community College in the Sweet Sixteen of the NJCAA Division II women’s basketball tournament.

The Tartans mounted a furious comeback after trailing by as many as 16 in the third quarter to the Thunderwolves, who lost their first contest after 31 wins in a row this season.

Myalisa Beal sank two free throws, her only points of the game, with 26 seconds left to win it for Sinclair. It was the only time NCCC trailed in the second half.

James scored a game-high 27 points and hit 7-of-11 from the three-point line. Schroeder poured in 26 and Nared added 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Sinclair held a 23-22 edge after one quarter against Lackawanna, and then headed into halftime tied at 37-37. Lackawanna, the 13 seed, sprinted away from the Tartans in the third quarter thanks to a 26-10 surge.

Schroeder had 31 points and 10 rebounds while James added 13 and Sarah Bettinger and Nared contributed 10 points each.

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