Niagara Gazette

November 28, 2012

Thunderwolves prevail

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A stellar performance from sophomore guard Isaiah Johnson led Niagara County Community College to a 94-89 overtime win over Lakeland Community College in a battle of ranked opponents on Tuesday. Johnson had a game-high 32 points, including a critical 3-pointer to give NCCC a five-point cushion early in the extra session. He also made 14 of 15 free-throw attempts.

“We earned this one,” Beilein said of his 19th-ranked squad. “In the latter part of the game, we isolated Isaiah Johnson and he was able to finish plays or make free throws. He really stepped up and put us on his back.”

Also for NCCC (6-1), Jon Marsh netted 16 points, including five in overtime. Jordan Street (Niagara Falls) notched 14 points and eight boards before fouling out midway through the second half. Daquan Johnson chipped in with 11 points off the bench and Jake Hughes (Niagara-Wheatfield) had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Deran Banton had 24 points and Martell Medley scored 21 for the Lakers (4-3), ranked 14th in the latest NJCAA Division II poll. “This is another quality win as we get ready for two tough games at the Columbus State Tournament this weekend,” Beilein said. “I’m seeing a lot of nice progress with our squad.”

In the opener, NCCC began the second half on a 12-0 run en route to a 68-50 win over Lakeland CC. Kristine Ripson (Lewiston-Porter) led the Thunderwolves with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Curry (Wilson) added 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks and Courtney Murray (Wilson) chipped in with 12 points and 12 boards. NCCC (3-2) held a 62-36 advantage on the glass.

“It’s no secret that when we dominate the paint we’re pretty good,” NCCC coach Nate Beutel said. “This is another program-building victory for us. Lakeland is a team that smacked us around in previous years, so for us to come out on top it shows that we’re making great strides.”