Second-half Rallies Fall Just Short to Nationally-ranked Basketball Teams

Second-half Rallies Fall Just Short to Nationally-ranked Basketball Teams

The Erie Community College basketball teams have been so competitive this season that they haven't lost a pair of games on the same night all season. No opposing team was able to enter the Flickinger Center and leave the building with wins against both the men's and women's teams - until Feb. 1.

But when it finally did happen for the first time this season, it took a couple of nationally-ranked teams to do it. And anyone who was at the games knew that the Kats could have very easily upset either of those nationally-ranked teams.

Just the fact that the lead changed 20 different times between the two games would suggest that both contests were battles, but when the final horn sounded both teams were beaten by just a single possession.

The women's team lost 73-70 to the No. 18 team in the nation, while the men dropped a 96-95 game to the No. 6-ranked Thunderwolves.

Whether those close games will drop the Thunderwolves in the rankings or bring the Kats into the national picture remains to be seen, but both NCCC teams have a combined record of 38-4 on the season. In those combined 38 wins, the two games against ECC were lowest winning-margins for both the NCC's women's and men's teams this season.

In the women's game the lead changed six times after an impressive rally that saw the Lady Kats out-score the Thunderwolves 47-38 in the second half. Chmika Kennedy led the Kats with 31 points, while Aaron Shabazz added 21.

In the men's game the lead changed 14 times and the Kats had possession during the last 10 seconds with a chance to win the game. Just like the Lady Kats, the men's team out-scored their nationally-ranked opponent in the second half as well, 44-41.

Jonathan Pozo hit eight threes on his way to a team-high 31 points, while Jaleel Gray added 16. Coincidently both teams ended the game with a dead-even 54.9 percent field goal percentage.