JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton-Montgomery Community College Lady Raiders picked up their ninth win in 10 games Monday, edging the Corning Community College Lady Red Barons 74-69 in overtime.
FMCC (12-3 overall, 6-1 conference) led for the vast majority of the game, but a 17-point second half by Corning's Marissa Pike and three timely hoops by Jenna Shoemaker pulled the Lady Red Barons (5-11 overall, 2-3 conference) even.
Monae Abrams paced FMCC in the first half, pouring in 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds. With the score tied at 14, Abrams and Jessica Woney combined for 11 points as part of an 11-2 FMCC run that put them up 25-16.
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Erica Redwood (33) sets a screen for Katrina Garrett (4) on Corning Community College’s Chelsea Lehman (5) in the first half of Monday’s game at FMCC. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
The Lady Raiders used a man-to-man defense for the majority of the game after struggling with a zone defense against Hudson Valley in a loss last week. Their defensive deficiencies showed as Corning answered FMCC's 11-2 run with an 11-4 run of their own.
"Offensively we're doing the right things," said FMCC head coach Kevin Jones. "We're reactive instead of proactive defensively and we've got to be better at that."
FMCC carried a four-point lead into the second half but suffered a serious blow just 23 seconds in. Starting forward Stephanie Rice hit the deck with an ankle injury and had to be carried off the court. More will be known about the severity of the injury in the coming days and Jones is unsure if Rice will be able to suit up for the Lady Raiders' next game on Saturday.
The Lady Raiders were invigorated following the loss of their teammate. They reeled off eight straight points to push their lead to nine, but Corning stormed back using six straight points from Pike. Pike was able to get to the line effectively in the half, hitting on 10 of her 13 free throw attempts.
"They were getting to the line every time," said Jones. "We'd work down to eight seconds on the clock and then foul somebody. Those are things where you've got to keep playing great defense and get a shot clock violation."
FMCC kept pace as Corning's offense began to find a rhythm, but two straight jumpers and a layup by Shoemaker evened the score at 57 apiece. Pike hit one of her free throws with 19 seconds left to give the Lady Red Barons their first lead since 3-2. Abrams drew a foul in the final 10 seconds and made both free throws to send the game to overtime.
FMCC's first points in the overtime period came when Kassandra Flowers sank a corner three to reclaim the lead. Katrina Garrett made two big plays in the extra frame, the first being a strong drive and dish to Abrams for an easy layup. With the Lady Raiders up 68-65, Garrett registered a big steal that led to two free throws by Woney at the other end. Pike and Sara Whitney made back-to-back layups late for Corning using a timely steal, but Woney and Abrams made four straight free throws down the stretch to secure a 5-point victory for the Lady Raiders.
Abrams led FMCC with 26 points and finished with 15 rebounds. Sherice Gayle also tallied 15 boards for the Lady Raiders.
"They've [Abrams and Gayle] been huge for us all year," said Jones. "If we don't have them inside right now I don't know where we'd be."
Woney also chipped in 18 points for FMCC. Pike's huge second half helped her finish with 26 for the Lady Red Barons.
The Lady?Raiders will look to stay hot on Saturday when they take on SUNY Adirondack at home at 1 p.m.
Fulton-Montgomery Community College 74, Corning Community College 69
Abrams 8-10-26, Woney 5-8-18, Flowers 5-2-15, Garrett 2-2-6, Gayle 0-4-4, Chea 1-1-3, Er. Redwood 0-2-2. Totals 21-29-74.
Pike 7-10-26, Lehman 3-7-14, Cook 3-3-9, Shoemaker 3-2-8, Collins 2-1-5, Whitney 2-1-5, Shoemaker 1-0-2. Totals 21-24-69.
3-point-goals: FMCC 3 (Flowers 3); Corning 3 (Pike 2, Lehman)
Halftime: FMCC, 31-27