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Lady Jays win again, advance to national semifinals

It’s on to the semifinals for the Minnesota West Lady Jays following an 84-73 win over Rowan College South Jersey – Gloucester Thursday night in the NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament in Rochester.

Minnesota West, seeded seventh in the tournament, handed the second-seeded Road Runners only their third loss of the season, and did so in sometimes dominant fashion. After taking a 15-11 edge through the first quarter, the Lady Jays blitzed Rowan to the tune of a 26-13 second stanza to grab a 17-point halftime advantage. MacKensie Post had 14 points in the first two quarters alone for Minnesota West, which limited the Roadrunners to just 27% shooting in the first two half.

In the third period, the Lady Jays picked up where they left off and eventually built a 55-30 lead following a 3-pointer from Hunter Garcia. Rowan College of South Jersey – Gloucester, though, slowly began to close the gap, getting to within 13 points of Minnesota West by the end of the third quarter and trimming their deficit all the way down to five after a three-point play with 3:05 to go. The Jays, however, regrouped and were able to rebuild some of their lead and hold on.

Tia Murray had another strong game for Minnesota West, netting game-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds. Post finished with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Madisyn Huisman had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Roadrunners had dominated opponents in rebounding all season, but the Lady Jays won the battle of the boards 52-35.

The Lady Jays will next play 11th-seeded Hostos, which upset No. 3 seed Onondaga Thursday night, at 7 p.m. tonight in the semis. Minnesota West is now 19-12 on the season.

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