CLINTON, Miss. – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves moved on to the NJCAA Region XXIII Championship with an exciting 63-57 victory over Holmes in the semifinals Thursday night. Co-Lin will face No. 5 Jones County Junior College in the championship game on Friday, March 9 at 5:30. This will be the Lady Wolves' fourth meeting with the Lady Bobcats. JCJC won the first three contests 65-52, 80-76, and 78-53. The winner will advance to the NJCAA DI National Championship tournament in Lubbock, Texas on March 19-24. Fans can watch Friday's game at colinathletics.com or listen live at WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven.
The first quarter was back-and-forth as the game was tied six times in the opening 10 minutes of play. Going into the second the Lady Wolves and Lady Bulldogs were tied at 14 all. Holmes took a four-point, 18-14 lead with 8:45 left in the first half, but a free throw from Ciara Norwood and a pair of jumpers from Nakeisha Holcomb gave the Lady Wolves their first lead since the opening minutes, 21-20.
Holmes responded with back-to-back threes from Kamelia Lacy to regain a five-point, 26-21, lead but the momentum was not enough as the Lady Wolves came roaring back in the final minutes of the half. A free throw from Kiara Bolton, a pair of free throws from Holcomb, and a three-pointer from Kyeonia Harris gave the Lady Wolves a 27-26 lead going into halftime.
Co-Lin hit two threes early in third, from Holt and T'Kyra Hicks to stretch the lead to five, 35-30, but Holmes rallied to tie the game three times in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Going into the fourth the game was knotted at 43-43.
A four-point Co-Lin run early in the fourth gave the Lady Wolves an advantage and the Lady Wolves never looked back. Harris made another big three with 3:09 remaining in the game to stretch the Lady Wolves lead to 56-50, and some late free throws from Holt and Hicks gave Co-Lin a nine-point lead with just 20 seconds left.
Holmes fought back in the final seconds with a three-pointer, and an offensive putback which cut the Lady Wolves' lead to four, 61-57, but a late steal secured the win for Co-Lin.
Holt led Co-Lin with 15 points and three assists on the night, while Harris poured in 13 after going 3-for-5 from three-point range. Holcomb came off the bench to score 12 and Hicks netted 11. Callahan led Co-Lin with 10 rebounds.
Lacy led Holmes with 15 points while Nina Carpenter scored 12. Carpenter led the Lady Bulldogs on the glass with eight rebounds.
Co-Lin shot 40 percent (21-for-53) from the field, 38 percent (6-for-16) from the three-point line, and 75 percent (15-for-20) from the foul stripe. The Lady Bulldogs finished the night shooting 39 percent (22-for-57) from the field, 27 percent (4-for-15) from beyond the arc, and 69 percent (9-for-13) from the free throw line.
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