JOHNSTOWN - After trailing for the majority of Saturday's Mountain Valley Conference game the Fulton-Montgomery Community College Lady Raiders fought back to take a 48-47 lead over Hudson Valley Community College.
The Lady Vikings were not ready to give in. Going hard to the hoop, HVCC consistently drew fouls from the FMCC players and converted 17 of 20 free throws in the closing minutes to upset the Lady Raiders on their home court, 79-70.
"We need to improve defensively, there were just too many blow-bys today," FMCC coach Kevin Jones said. "We need to get down in our stance and play better defense. They were going by and we were reaching."
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Stephanie Rice (10) puts up a shot as Hudson Valley Community College’s My’Asia Alston (23) draws a charge during Saturday’s game at FMCC. Following the play for the Lady Raiders is Jessica Woney (23). (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Stephanie Rice got FMCC off to a quick start hitting a pair of free throws, however, Shikera Lawson and My'Asia Alston answered with nine points between them for the Lady Vikings to build an early lead.
HVCC steadily increased its advantage and after a short run midway through the opening half, established a 23-14 lead.
The Lady Raiders chipped away at the lead and three times in the closing minutes got the lead down to three points before falling back to trail 35-29 at the half.
It didn't take long for FMCC to close the gap in the second half. The Lady Raiders' Monae Abrams stole the ball and drew a foul as she laid it in. She completed the three-point play to give FMCC its first lead of the game since the opening minute, 48-47, with 10:39 left in regulation.
After HVCC tied the game, Abrams stepped back and hit a 3-pointer to put the Lady Raiders up 51-48.
The Lady Vikings made the most of their trips to the free-throw line to tie the game at 54 with 8:54 remaining.
This time they went on the attack with a high-intensity press that forced turnovers to spark a 12-2 run and open a 66-56 advantage.
The Lady Raiders were able to get the lead down to seven points but could not get any closer as the HVCC players made their free throws down the stretch to complete the 79-70 upset.
"The biggest thing I want to do is execute, get the ball down the court and get good buckets," Jones said. "I thought we did that the beginning of the second half. Then we gave up a couple of baskets and the kids put their heads down. But the kids continued to plug away at it and we were right there the whole game."
Rice hit five 3-pointers en route to her double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Abrams also finished with double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Sherice Gayle added 10 rebounds and eight points.
Three HVCC players finished with double-doubles.
Sarah Janson led HVCC with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Lawson had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Alston finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Samantha Tomeck chipped in with 16 points and four steals.
"They are a good team," Jones said. "They have added some kids and the ones they added are quality players. I told my team again that nobody wins the region today and we need to get better to be ready for the end of February."
Hudson Valley Community College 79, Fulton-Montgomery Community College 70
LaPietra 2-2-6, Tomeck 7-2-16, Alston 2-9-14, Lawson 8-0-16, Sangetti-Daniels 1-4-6, Janson 7-7-21. Totals: 27-24-79.
Jordan 1-2-5, Chea 2-1-5, Flowers 2-4-8, Rice 6-6-23, Abrams 6-8-21, Gayle 3-2-8. Totals: 20-23-70.
3-point goals: HVCC 1 (My'Asia Alston); FMCC 7 (Stephanie Rice 5, Kendra Jordan, Monae Abrams).
Halftime: HVCC, 35-29.