Jones College Sports Information
LUBBOCK, Texas (WDAM) - Sakyia White twirled around two defenders and hit the game-winning layup as time expired to send Jones to its second straight NJCAA Elite Eight with a 71-69 win over Gulf Coast State Friday night.
The Commodores converted a game-tying three-point play with 1.2 seconds left, leaving Jones with a chance in front of its bench after advancing the ball on a timeout.
En’Dya Buford connected with White on an inbounds pass in front of the goal where White banked it in for the dramatic victory.
Jones (26-3) moves on to face Trinity Valley (32-2) Saturday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Lady Cards have handed the Bobcats two of their three losses this season.
The Bobcats led 20-12 after one quarter and took a 34-29 lead into the break.
Gulf Coast State scored 14 of the first 16 points of the third quarter to take its largest lead at 43-36. Seven straight from Jones, capped by a Carly Keats jumper, tied it up at 43-43.
The Commodores opened the fourth with the first eight points to retake the lead 55-49 before Jones battled back again. A 15-5 run over the next six minutes gave Jones a 64-62 lead with 2:43 to play.
The final minute of the game is where it got crazy. White’s jumper made it 66-63 until GCSC found a wide-open three from Alieghya Bartholomew to tie it at 66-all with 37 seconds left.
With Jones leading by one and the ball, Buford drove to the rim and drew the foul instead of burning the clock and gave the Commodores ample time to tie. Buford drilled both free throws to make it 69-66 with 15.9 seconds left.
Lockdown defense from Jones didn’t give GCSC any chance at a tying three-pointer and they could’ve given the Commodores a free layup, but Ciante Downs drove to the rim and was fouled with 1.2 seconds left and hit the ensuing free throw to tie it again.
A little bit of good fortune and luck was on the Bobcats’ side in the end.
Buford finished with a game-high 20, followed by White with 19 points and 17 rebounds and Thames with 17. Jones shot 40 percent to Gulf Coast State’s 33 percent and held them to 6-of-26 beyond the arc.
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