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No.1 Rock Valley's 3-Pointers Sink No. 8 Massasoit At NJCAA National Tourney
 March 13, 2014

Warriors fall to Golden Eagles, 81-62 on Day One

ROCHESTER, Minn. ---- The No. 8 Massasoit women's basketball team had spurts of strong play, but top-seeded and reigning two-time National Champion Rock Valley CC (Rockford, Ill.) buried 11 3-pointers en route to a 81-62 victory on the first day of the NJCAA National Tournament. The game marked the first-ever National Tournament contest for the Warriors women's basketball program.

Massasoit (16-7) will take on the loser of No. 4 Brookedale CC (29-2) and No. 5 Sullivan County (25-3) on Friday at 2 p.m. ET.

"We played with the No. 1 team in the nation in five-minute games within the game today. But the entire game is 40 minutes," head coach Mark Brathwaite said. "I think if we focus on what we are capable of doing and the little things -- like boxing out well and defending well we can play with anybody."

The Warriors' uptempo style did showcase flashes throughout the game, as the Golden Eagles (27-5) were held to 39.7 percent shooting and forced into 23 turnovers.

A key difference in the game was the perimeter play of RVC. The Golden Eagles finished 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) from downtown with five 3s coming from Aleesha Cleaver, who finished with a game-high 23 points. Massasoit went just 1-for-14 from 3-point range.

Another key factor was Massasoit's inability to put the ball in the hoop. The Warriors took 14 more shots than RVC (82 to 68) but made only 23 baskets for a 28.0 shooting percentage.

"We had 80 something shots and missed a bunch of them," Ashley Andrade (Randolph) said. "We took more shots than RVC, we just weren't making them and the ball just wasn't going in the basket. If we finished it would have been a better game."

Despite the loss, Massasoit received a career game from freshman Tiana McQueen (Mattapan/Boston English HS). The post player poured in a career-high 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting and tied a career-best with 12 boards. In addition she went a perfect 7-for-7 at the line.

Sophomore Ashley Andrade (Randolph) also produced a strong and efficient game scoring 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting with five rebounds. Fredi Lawson (Boston/J.E. Burke HS) added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Things started off glim for the eighth-seeded Warriors, falling behind 7-0 early on and going the first 4:10 of the contest scoreless.

However, the Warriors settled the nerves and forced 18 first-half RVC turnovers to stay within striking distance of the nation's best squad.

Trailing 34-16, Massasoit embarked on a 13-4 run to close out the last 5:20 of the opening stanza. The Warriors trailed 38-29 at the break. McQueen (12) and Andrade (7) combined for 19 of Masssoit's first half point total.

The second half did not open up the way the Warriors had hoped. During the first six minutes, the Golden Eagles utilized a 15-8 run to expand their lead to 16 -- 53-36. All 15 points during that run came from downtown, as RVC went 6-for-10 from long range in the second stanza.

Massasoit would get as a close as 11 -- 60-49 -- after an Andrade basket with 10:04 left, but get no closer as RVC would lead by double figures the rest of the way.

"It's not over," Andrade said. "We still have two more games and we can improve on our No. 8 ranking, so lets go! We need to show up for 40 minutes tomorrow."

NOTES
Thursday marked the first-ever appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament for the Massasoit WBB program... Fredi Lawson produced her 12th consecutive double-double and 17th of the season...Lawson has also scored in double figures in all 22 games she has played in this season...Tiana McQueen posted a career-high in points (21) and tied a career-best in rebounds (12)....RVC out-rebounded the Warriors, 61-42...RVC had 23 turnovers to only 16 by Massasoit.



























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