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 January 25, 2013

The Prairie State College women’s basketball team knew full-well that the road to an Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship would be a bumpy one.

One of the teams blocking the Pioneers’ path to a title invaded the PSC Field House Thursday night.

And after squeezing out a 44-41 triumph over league front-runner Elgin, that road, for the time being, became a little smoother.

With the win, PSC’s fifth straight, the Pioneers moved to 11-7 overall and 5-0 in league play. Most importantly, the triumph pushes head coach Jeff Boyd’s team into sole possession of first place in the Skyway standings.

With the setback, the Spartans fell to 4-1 in league play.

Prairie State was paced by freshman guard Nijea Dixon’s (Joliet Central H.S.) 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field.

Dixon constructed the bulk of her offensive damage in the opening half, where she dropped in 10 of her tallies.

Dixon has scored in double digits in each of her last six contests. She’s recorded 10 or more points in a tilt 14 times on the season.

PSC witnessed one other player reach twin figures in the scoring column sophomore center Amanda Pierce (Simeon H.S.) achieved the feat, registering 11 points, courtesy of a perfect 5-of-5 shooting effort.

Pierce has reached double digits in the scoring column in each of her last three games. She has posted eight double-digit scoring efforts this year.
Sophomore center Danielle Zandstra (Heritage Christian H.S., Ind.), (8 points, 11 rebounds) and freshman forward Mandie Green (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.), (8 points, 7 rebounds) both made solid contributions.

Despite the narrow margin of victory, PSC never trailed in the contest.

PSC raced out to a 14-4 lead to open the contest and led 31-20 at the break.

The Spartans closed the gap to 39-37 with 7:29 to go and then made it a one-point contest at 42-41 with 4:15 left.

A pair of free throws from Dixon with 10 seconds left sealed the contest.

The Pioneers will be in action again on Saturday (1 p.m.) when they play host to the Robert Morris JV in a makeup date of a contest originally scheduled for Jan. 3.

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