LMC women escape with 72-68 win. Men fall short but remain in second

Women #2 Raasheedah Harris
Men: #4 James Smith

LMC women escape with 72-68 win

Men fall short but remain in second

By Tom O’Neill

          Leading by 15 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Red Hawks needed a forced turnover with 19 seconds left, then two clutch free throws by Raasheedah Harris securing LMC’s 72-68 win over Ancilla College January 31.

            The Red Hawks (6-2/15-4) never trailed, pushing their lead to 17 points late in the third quarter playing without Emily Atsinger. Atsinger, who averages 15.8 points, crashed twice to the floor in the first half and did not return. 

The Chargers tossed in six fourth quarter three-pointers, LaRae Roscoe’s three cut the lead to two with 56 seconds. Ancilla’s defense forced a LMC clock violation at 25 seconds. With a chance to tie, the Chargers never got a shot off, Harris and Mariah Mireles forcing the Ancilla turnover.

Harris went to the line after an intentional foul, dropping both with a little extra kick from Coach Patrick Daniel on the second. Harris finished with 16 points.

Daniel said this was a big win at home. “It all came down to defensive stops. That’s our calling card. Defense wins games and we did it well for 3 ½ quarters. I’m proud of our team” The Hawks held Ancilla to 28.7 percent from the field.

The LMC coach made several line-up adjustments in the second half. Daniel said he decided not to play Atsinger in the second half because of the injury and Harris was playing with four fouls in the final quarter. After scoring 14 points in the first half, leading scorer Jade Mosier was double-teamed, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward Brooke Becker took to the inside scoring seven of her nine points in the final quarter.

Ancilla and LMC are tied with two conferences losses, one behind Mid-Michigan and Muskegon. The Chargers (6-2/16-3) visit Muskegon (7-1/14-5) Saturday. Mid Michigan visits the Red Hawks February 9, LMC hoping to even the series.

Men run out of gas, time falling to Ancilla 95-83

The Ancilla Chargers brought their #2 NJCAA Division 2 ranking and 18-1 record to the Napier Campus planning for number 19.

LMC was determined to keep this one close. James Smith led the first half attack, scoring 15 points for the Red Hawks including back to back threes. The Chargers, with their size and height advantage, kept LMC’s other scoring threats in check. Ancilla’s guard duo of Tyler Chisom and Jair Rodgers, averaging almost 36 points a game, were at 20, putting the Chargers up 44-36.

Red Hawk guard Bryce Saxton and forward Gavin Rassler broke through in the second half as the Chargers adjusted to Smith. Saxton scored 17 of his game high 23 points and Rassler 14 of his 19 points with two three pointers.

LMC chipped away at the deficit, pulling within one, 69-68, following a Deion Gatson bucket. Saxton kept it close with a three-pointer at 6:43, Ancilla hanging on 73-71. The clock ticked down to 4:44 when Rassler hit a bucket, pulling LMC back within four and a Red Hawk time out.

Ancilla Coach Aaron Butcher gathered his team telling them “this team is not going away.” The Chargers staged a 9-2 run to pull away.

“We just ran out of gas”, explained LMC Coach Jeremy Schaffer. “We showed them a lot of different things but the clock ran out on us. We can compete with them.” Schaffer said Ancilla was big and physical and knew how to seal out with their bodies. The Chargers have seven players over 200 pounds.

Smith finished with 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists for LMC. LMC shot 46.6 percent from the field but only went to the charity line nine times, sinking five. Ancilla took 24 shots and hit 19, a swing of 14 points.

Ancilla visits Muskegon (6-3/9-10) Saturday and LMC (7-2/11-9), alone in second place, travels to Kellogg (2-7/2-14). The Red Hawk return home February 9 facing Mid Michigan.