Mar 11, 2016
LINCROFT, New Jersey -- West Georgia Tech's quest for a national championship ended Friday in the NJCAA Tournament Division-III Semifinals with a 61-54 loss to top-ranked Roxbury (Mass.).
West Georgia Tech will play again Saturday in a consolation-round game against the loser of Friday night's other semifinal contest between Northland and Mohawk Valley.
A win Saturday would give West Georgia Tech third place in the final national standings.
Roxbury will play the Northland-Mohawk Valley winner in Saturday night's championship game.
Roxbury won despite having just six players to West Georgia Tech's 15.
The game turned into a heavyweight fight from the onset, with Roxbury delivering the biggest blow in the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers outscored WGTC 22-9 in the third, which turned a 25-22 halftime lead into a 47-31 advantage going into the fourth.
West Georgia Tech mounted a spirited comeback, closing to within six points, 51-45 with 3:17 left.
And Roxbury was down to just five players after Alyssa Stewart picked up her fifth foul with about three minutes remaining.
But the Lady Tigers withstood the run with a 6-0 run of their own over the next 90 seconds to go back up by twelve, 57-45.
The Golden Knights kept fighting, but ran out of time.
The game was riddled with fouls, which would seem to benefit the Golden Knights given their depth, but Roxbury adjusted.
The Lady Tigers connected on 20 of 42 shots from the free throw line, while WGTC made 10 of 17. WGTC was charged with 29 fouls to Roxbury's 20.
When the game ended, three Roxbury players had four fouls. If either of them had picked up a fifth foul, the Lady Tigers would have been forced to play with four players against West Georgia Tech's five. Had that happened, West Georgia Tech would have dominated, and it wouldn't have been close. But that scenario never materialized.
West Georgia Tech shot 21 of 74 from the field (28.4 percent) and connected on just 2 of 16 from three-point range against Roxbury's zone defense. WGTC couldn't get the ball inside until the final few minutes of the game.
Roxbury shot 35.7 percent from the field (20 of 56), but was 9 of 19 in the third quarter, which means that nearly half of the Lady Tigers' buckets came during that third quarter run.
West Georgia Tech entered the post-season as the top rebounding team in the country but was outrebounded for a second-straight night. Roxbury cleaned the glass with a 51-39 advantage, including 19 on the offensive end, which led to 19 second-chance points.
Tymeshia Dozier led West Georgia Tech with 11 points. Jacky Jones scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Taj Lewis led Roxbury with 22 points and seven rebounds. Alyssa Stewart had 17 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out in the final minutes.
West Georgia Tech's season will end Saturday and the Knights will finish in either third or fourth place, depending upon the outcome.
West Georgia Tech may not take home the ultimate prize of a national championship, but the Golden Knights still earned a place in school history. Saturday's result will not diminish that one way or the other.
Saturday's consolation round game will tip at 5 p.m.
Visit www.WGTCAthletics.com for more information on West Georgia Tech Golden Knights athletics.