Threes don’t fall for the Jacks as they drop first game of the season.
Lumberjacks forward Isa Conde scored 26 in a comeback effort by the Jacks versus the Concordia (Ore.) Cavaliers but fell just short in the game’s final seconds.
The Jacks (2-1) fell to the Cavs (4-1) 72-71 at Lumberjack Arena on Nov. 20 but were able to mount a comeback after trailing by 18 early in the game. Isa Conde began to find her groove thanks to some trips to the free throw line and the buckets began to fall.
“We shouldn’t be in these situations,” Conde said. “We should be the ones forcing teams to fight back and we just need to work on our starts.”
Defense has been an issue for the Jacks as they are allowing 71.6 points per game but this team lives and dies by the three and they fell on their own blade against the Cavs.
The Lumberjacks shot over 10 percent worse from three-point land against Concordia than their season average of 32 percent. To make matters worse, the Jacks couldn’t pull down any boards and were outrebounded by 15.
Down 23-6 in the first quarter, the Jacks began to chip away at the lead. They found their way back into the game as they began to force some turnovers. Down by just four with 2:16 left, Conde drove to the bucket and got the and-one to bring the Jacks within just a point. Conde led all players with 16 points the first two quarters and her team trailed by only three at halftime.
“I thought Isa just played her tail off on both ends of the floor tonight,” Jacks head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said. “She’s trying her best to lead us in all areas and not just scoring but keeping us together and being vocal.”
The Cavs were able to get out to an eight-point lead in the third quarter but the Jacks remained poised and kept making plays to keep the game close.
Jacks newcomer Alexia Thrower has been a revelation for the Jacks. She’s already recorded two double-doubles in the first three games of the season with averages of 17 points and 9.6 boards per game.
“We came in and played stronger in the second half, “Thrower said. “It was enough to give us a kick start.”
The fourth quarter was not to be missed. The Jacks fought their way back to make the game competitive but they wanted a win. Every time the Jacks came close, the Cavs hit another shot to extend their lead.
Down 68-65 in the game’s final minutes, Jacks junior guard Tyra Turner was able to get by her defender to make the layup plus a foul. Turner knocked down the free throw and tied the game at 68.
With the Cavs in the penalty, Alexia Thrower was sent to the line for two. She knocked down both to give the Jacks their first lead since the first minute of the game.
With just 11 seconds left, Cavs guard Kizzah Maltezo was fouled by the Jacks Jovanah Arrington. Maltezo made both to put the Cavs up one. With a chance to win the game, Turner missed a 3-pointer as time expired, handing the Jacks their first loss of the season.
“Im glad that our team had the resilience to fight back,” Conde said. “But at the same time it would be cool to have came out victorious.”