The Alpena Community College women's basketball team's win streak came to a grinding halt on Wednesday when Macomb beat the Lumberjacks 97-50 for a season sweep.
"We struggled on defense and our shots just weren't falling at all," ACC's Sarah Kolb said.
The first half actually started strong for the Lumberjacks (8-14, 5-10 Eastern Conference) as they held a 10-7 lead at 13:27 in the first half.
News Photo by Eric Benac
ACC player Sandy Bischoff (11) takes it to the hole past Macomb Defender Carly D’Almeida (blue) in a game at Park Arena on Wednesday.
This early success came off the strong offensive teamwork that favored quick passes and accurate shots. ACC's zone defense held the Monarchs to a standstill for much of the first half.
The Lumberjacks picked up several key steals that stymied the offensive momentum of the Monarchs. It also utilized strong rebounding to shut down second and third chance Monarch scoring opportunities.
ACC was led by Anna Carrick in the first half with six points.
However, by the end of the half, the Monarchs had outscored ACC 45-9 to take a 52-19 lead into the second half.
"Macomb's transitions to the hoop were what killed us," Kolb said.
The Monarchs utilized a man-to-man defense that forced the Lumberjacks into awkward and difficult shots. They broke up routine layups and started picking up steals on the inbound to add an easy extra bucket.
Macomb also utilized accurate three point shooting to extend its lead. It hit four treys in the first, while ACC was limited to one off Courtney Holmes. Whitney Frazier, a normally reliable shooter, didn't make a single bucket in the first half.
Things improved considerably for ACC in the second half. It began hitting shots more consistently and started to find ways to work around the Monarch defense.
However, the Monarchs continued to stay consistent at the basket, hitting most of their shots and shutting down too many ACC drives. By 10:15 in the half, Macomb had taken a 78-30 lead over ACC.
The Monarchs were led by Jasmine Kimbrough with 20 points followed by Tiara Malone with 19. Everybody on Macomb's squad scored at least a bucket.
The Lumberjacks had a bit of a late second half surge, led by the fast ball handling of Ashleigh Monticello and Megan Barkley.
Monticello hit a pair of trey's within the last minute of the game to narrow Macomb's lead to 97-48. Monticello led ACC with 12 points.
Frazier hit two free throws out of three in the last 16 seconds to avoid a 50-point loss.
"It started out with us really close in the beginning. But we just fell apart and couldn't get our heads back up," Kolb said.
ACC travels to Wayne County on Saturday.
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MACOMB (97): R. Hankins 3 3-6 11; B. Kidd 6 3-5 15; B. Grant 4 2-3 10; N. Nowak 3 0-0 7; C. D'Almeida 3 2-2 8; T. Malone 7 5-5 19; K. Taylor 1 0-0 2; D. Rasche 2 0-0 3; J. Kimbrough 7 6-12 20.
ACC (50): C. Holmes 3 0-0 7; W. Frazier 2 2-2 4; A. Carrick 3 0-0 6; A. Monticello 3 3-4 12; A. Nowak 2 2-2 6; M. Barkley 2 0-0 4; M. Myers 1-2 1; S. Bischoff 2 2-2 6; K. Shepard 1 0-0 2; E. Nowak 1 0-0 2.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.