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STLCC women collect first NJCAA tournament win under Ethridge
 March 20, 2013

Shelly Ethridge and her Archers players broke through something of a glass ceiling Wednesday, as STLCC defeated Chesapeake Community College 77-67 in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA tournament. The win was the first national tournament victory for Ethridge and assistant coach Melanie Marcy, who teamed up to lead three consecutive STLCC teams to Region XVI titles and NJCAA tournament berths.

"It’s the third time, and every time we’ve had opportunities in our first game, and in our second game, we were so worn down mentally," Marcy said. "We tried to really manage the day as far as getting them down time, getting them ready. To be able to fight off this team and get it done, we were back in our old form."

That ‘old form’ was a stellar second-half push by the Archers, led by sophomore forward Lauren Maclin. Despite sitting much of the first half while in foul trouble, Maclin finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Led by Maclin’s performance, the Archers outscored the Skipjacks 44-30 in the second half.

The win improved the Archers to 20-10 on the season, marking the third consecutive 20-win campaign for the Archers’ coaching staff.

"I would say this is the hardest 20 we have ever earned," Marcy said. "We know what we’ve been through, but for us to have the tougher schedule that we did, and still get 20 wins, we’re just very proud of everything these girls have accomplished. It just solidifies this comeback, this year of perseverance for us, this year of believing."

The Archers entered the NJCAA tournament with a roster of nine players following a bevy of defections and injuries mid-season. Despite the lack of depth, the Archers defeated the top two seeds in the Region XVI tournament, and defeated North Arkansas College in the District P playoff to earn their NJCAA tournament berth. Wednesday, the 14th-seeded Archers continued their late-season resurgence by defeating 11th-seeded Chesapeake.

STLCC will receive a day off tomorrow after back-to-back games to open the national tournament. Up next for the Archers will be the winner of Owens College and Erie College on Friday. The day off could not come at a better time for the Archers, who look to continue a run toward a possible seventh-place showing in the tournament.

"It’s much needed," Marcy said of the off day tomorrow. "We have some soreness, some sprains. They’ve just been battling, and to be able to vibe off the energy of the tournament, and come out and hopefully continue to keep getting better."

Tip-off on Friday is set for 11 am. 

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