AC News Service
The Angelina College Lady Roadrunners pulled off an upset of No. 2 Trinity Valley College Wednesday night at Shands Gymnasium, leaving with a 64-62 win in handing the Lady Cardinals their first conference loss of the season.
AC's Sandy Rawls hit a fall-away putback with just two seconds to play to lift the Lady Roadrunners to their first win over TVCC in nine years and the first home win in more than 15 years. AC's win snapped Trinity Valley's 70-game conference winning streak dating back to 2011.
Rawls' offensive rebound capped a wild final possession for AC. After Lady Cardinal Jazmine Spears tied the game with 48 seconds remaining in the game, Trinity Valley then forced an AC turnover with 24 seconds to play, with Spears stealing an entry pass and drawing a foul. However, Spears' one-and-one free throw attempt misfired, and after a scramble for the ball, the Lady ‘Runners' Ceidra Coleman came away with the rebound.
AC head coach Byron Coleman burned his last time out with 16 seconds to play, setting up a final shot to stave off overtime. Malachi McQueen got the shot but missed, and Lisa Nealey grabbed the rebound – and missed the putback. Somehow, Rawls one-handed the carom and, with a defender's hand in her face, hit the fall-back one-hander for the game winner.
“We had looks, but we couldn't get anything to fall,” Coleman said. “Sandy just kept battling; she's been our leading scorer all year, so I was happy to see her get the game winner.”
That the game came down to the final moments was a shocker, considering how the Lady Roadrunners opened the game: AC went 1-for-14 from the field, including six missed three-point attempts, and fell behind by 15 points to the nation's second-best team.
Coleman gathered his troops during a timeout and made some lineup changes – and some strong suggestions. The Lady ‘Runners responded by outscoring TVCC 21-8 to close out the first half.
“We finally started rebounding and stopped giving up second-chance buckets to them,” Coleman said. “The rebounds also helped with our transition.
“At that point we were struggling, but I told the defense to just keep grinding, and the scoring would take care of itself.”
The second half saw neither team able to build more than a five-point lead, with AC maintaining at least a one-point cushion over the game's final 12 minutes.
Nealey finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Roadrunners (19-9, 11-7). Rawls added 16 points and seven boards and McQueen totaled 12 points and seven rebounds.
Autumn Williams led the Lady Cardinals (24-2, 10-1) with 15 points; Charisma Matlock added 13 and Leashja Grant 11 in the loss.
In Pasadena, the Roadrunners fell 78-71 to San Jacinto.
Both AC teams will be at home on Saturday against Blinn College as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Day at Shands Gymnasium. The Lady ‘Runners tip off at 4 p.m., with the ‘Runners following at 6 p.m.