Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shurn's 23 points, 14 rebounds pace KCKCC's 8th straight win


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Freshman Iland Shurn stepped front and center when Kansas City Kansas Community College’s streaking women’s basketball team needed it most Monday night.

Hitting 9-of-11 shots from the floor, Iland came off the bench for career highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds including the game’s two biggest field goals in the final minutes of a 59-52 win over Southeast Nebraska. Back home for the first time since Nov. 19, the Blue Devil men could not overcome a barrage of early Southeast 3-point goals in a 60-52 setback.

Southeast took advantage of a 7-minute drought in which the Lady Blue Devils could manage just one field goal in the opener to cut a 48-38 deficit to 50-48 before Shurn converted a 3-point play for a 53-48 lead with 2:13 left.

Kalah Jiggetts’ two free throws made it 55-48 but Southeast again closed to 55-52 before Shurn scored again with 45 seconds left and Jiggetts closed out the win with two more free throws.

“Iland played out of her mind,” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky. “She was phenomenal, the best game of her career.”

Up until the finish, the Blue Devils were their own worst enemy, committing a season high 28 turnovers and converting only 18 of 40 free throws for just 45 percent. “It wasn’t pretty but it was a win,” said Stambersky. Ranked No. 10 nationally with a 15-1 record, the Blue Devils will take an 8-game winning streak to Allen County Saturday for a 6 p.m. contest.

More than half of KCKCC’s scoring came off the bench as Alyson Weber had nine points and six rebounds to go along with Shurn’s 23 points. Julia Garrard added 10 rebounds and six points, Janai Mitchell nine points and seven rebounds, Jiggetts seven points and six assists and Cassidy Harbert eight rebounds as KCKCC dominated the rebounding 55-37.

A spectacular second half 3-point shooting performance by Willis Garner couldn’t overcome 13 Southeast 3-pointers in the nightcap. A 5-10 freshman guard from J.C. Harmon, Garner hit 6-of-8 3-point shots – all in the second half – to finish with a career high 18 points as the Blue Devils outscored the Storm 41-19 in the second half.

It was not enough, however, to offset the long range shooting of Southeast, which had five 3-points in the first five minutes en route to a 17-3 lead.

Anthony Ridley added eight points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Lucas Smith nine points and five rebounds, Clay Young six points and seven rebounds and newcomer Robert Armstrong five points and five rebounds for KCKCC, which fell to 5-11.

At Allen Saturday, both KCKCC teams are back home next Monday against Wentworth at 5 and 7 p.m.