Ridgewater falls in semifinals

UTICA, N.Y. -- Top-ranked and unbeaten Monroe College (N.Y.) rumbled by the Ridgewater Lady Warriors 71-60 in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament Friday.

UTICA, N.Y. -- Top-ranked and unbeaten Monroe College (N.Y.) rumbled by the Ridgewater Lady Warriors 71-60 in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament Friday.

Fantasia Goodwin led the Lady Mustangs with 28 points. The No. 1-seeded team and the overwhelming favorite to win the national title, improved to 35-0.

Ridgewater will play for third place today at 5 p.m. against Madison Area Technical College (Wis.).

Ridgewater (21-8) wasn't expected to have much of a chance against the top offense in Division III. Montoe averages 89 points-per-game and allows only 44 points a game. Monroe won its quarterfinal game 112-36.

But the Lady Warriors avoided an early attempt by the Mustangs at a blowout and stayed within 10 points much of the way.


Terra Billiet had 15 of her 17 points in the second half and Jamie Munson followed with 16 points to ignite Ridgewater.

The Lady Mustangs busted out to a 6-0 lead, but three points from sophomore post Sarah Primus, who got the start with the knee injury to sophomore guard Jenny Cunningham, and a trey by Kayla Karnes got the Lady Warriors offense out of neutral.

But Monroe, which is located in the Bronx, went on a 13-2 rampage for a 21-8 lead.

Karnes, a freshman guard from New London-Spicer, then sank a three-pointer for the Lady Warriors, who eventually closed within 29-21 on a basket by freshman wing Melissa Sterkel. Monroe took a 35-26 lead into halftime behind 15 points by Goodwin and 12 from Angela Pace.

"We got within six (at one point) in the second half and then we had possessions that ended by throwing the ball away and missed free throws," said Ridgewater coach Carrie Ogdahl. "We didn't take care of the ball in the end."

Primus led the Lady Warriors with nine points at halftime, making all four of her field goal attempts. Billiet, the team's top scorer, had just a field goal in the first half. But the 6-foot sophomore post from Madison got seven early second-half points to keep Ridgewater within striking distance. Goodwin, a 5-10 wing who will play at Syracuse next season, had 21 points by the 12-minute mark.

Munson canned her second three-pointer of the game to get the Mustang lead down to eight at 48-40. Billiet followed with another basket on a feed from Karnes and it was 48-42 with 10:30 to play.

Ridgewater managed to keep the Mustangs within sight the rest of the way. A rebound basket by sophomore wing Katie Johnson and buckets from Billiet and Johnson -- who pulled down 10 rebounds -- again had Ridgewater within seven with two minutes left, but Monroe repelled the Lady Warriors' final rally.


"They were beatable, but they're good and athletic," said Ogdahl. "Certainly Jenny was a big factor not being out there. Karnes played 38½ minutes and worked her butt off. If we could have got the ball to our wings quicker it could have been closer."

Monroe 71, Ridgewater 60

Monroe (35-0) 38 33 -- 71

Ridgewater (21-8) 26 34 -- 60

MONROE - 28-69 FG (1-8 3 pt); 14-20 FT; 41 rebounds; 18 fouls ... Scoring: Naimah Ahmed 1-3 0-0 2, Georgia Anderson 1-2 0-0 2, Shari Cordero 1-3 0-0 2, Fantasia Goodwin 12-23 3-4 28, Patrice Griffin 0-5 1-2 1, Sha-Kia Hart 4-11 4-7 12, Kaminie Jeeuth 0-1 0-0 0, Monique Jenkins 0-5 0-0 0, Angela Pace 6-11 6-7 18, Angela Speight 3-5 0-0 6 ... 3-point shots: Goodwin 1-4, Hart 0-1, Jeeuth 0-1, Griffin 0-2 ... Rebound leaders: Goodwin 10, Pace 7, Hart 6 ... Assist leader: Pace 4 ... Steal leader: Goodwin 3

RIDGEWATER - 21-58 FG (5-11 3 pt); 13-20 FT; 47 rebounds; 17 fouls ... Scoring: Amy Ballard 0-0 0-1 0, Terra Billiet 7-17 3-6 17, Katie Johnson 3-9 0-0 6, Kayla Karnes 3-11 0-0 9, Jamie Munson 3-8 8-9 16, Ashley Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Sarah Primus 4-10 1-2 9, Melissa Sterkel 1-2 1-2 3, Sarah Wold 0-0 0-0 0 ... 3-point shots: Karnes 3-6, Munson 2-3, Johnson 0-2 ... Rebound leaders: Johnson 10, Karnes 6, Munson 6, Olson 6, Primus 5 ... Assist leaders: Karnes 6, Johnson 5 ... Steal leader: Ballard 1, Munson 1, Olson 1

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