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Stops and starts

Offensive lulls cost Lumberjacks in loss to Ocelots

News Photo by James Andersen ACC freshman Keagan Fischer (11) puts up a shot while being defended by Schoolcraft’s Sarah Campbell during a women’s basketball game on Wednesday at Park Arena.

The offensive well went dry one too many times for the Alpena Community College women’s basketball team on Wednesday.

A stagnant third quarter–a period in which they were outscored 23-5–proved costly for the Lumberjacks and ultimately led to a 63-51 loss to Schoolcraft at Park Arena.

ACC (3-10) battled back to within nine with 3:06 to play, but the offensive struggles popped up again as the Lumberjacks were held to two points the rest of the way.

Solae Pope-White led the Ocelots with 18 points and was one of four Schoolcraft players to finish in double figures. Sarah Tanderys added 17 and Carley Loving chipped in with 14, while Sarah Campbell had 11.

ACC led early, converting from the arc at the free throw line, but Schoolcraft eventually found success by doing many of the little things better than ACC. During the third quarter, Schoolcraft continually willed its way to buckets by fighting harder for rebounds on both ends of the floor, creating second and third chances on offense, forcing turnovers and fighting for loose balls.

On offense, the Ocelots repeatedly found ways to get the ball inside where ACC could not. Schoolcraft had success shooting outside–Tanderys drained five three-pointers in the win–but the majority of Pope-White’s and Loving’s points came inside from grabbing rebounds or getting passes in the paint and outmuscling ACC defenders.

ACC led 29-27 at the half, despite an offensive drought in the first half that lasted more than five minutes. Schoolcraft tied the game with an inside bucket from Campbell less than a minutes into the third quarter and from there the Ocelots were off to the races.

ACC trailed 50-34 after three quarters and didn’t net its first basket of the second half until Brooke Nguyen hit a trey with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

Nguyen finished with 12 points, all on three-pointers. Dakota Prevo led ACC with 14 points and Brooke Jones added 11.

Schoolcraft kept a double-digit lead for a large part of the fourth quarter, despite being in serious foul trouble. Loving picked up her fourth foul 10 seconds in and eventually fouled out with 6:05 remaining. Pope-White also picked up her fourth foul less than a minute in, but recovered to hit several key free throws in the final minutes.

The Lumberjacks battled back and closed the gap to 10 two different times as time wound down. A basket from Prevo made it 58-49 with 3:06 left, but the Lumberjacks couldn’t hit shots to pull closer and had to foul in the last two minutes.

Schoolcraft was 12-of-17 from the charity stripe for the game and ACC went 11-for-26.

ACC plays at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Delta.

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BOX SCORE: Field Goals Made/Free Throws Made/Free Throws Attempted/Total Points

SCHOOLCRAFT (63): S. Campbell 5 1-2 11; S. Pope-White 6 6-10 18; C. Loving 5 4-4 14; S. Tanderys 6 0-0 17; N. Williams 1 1-1 3.

ALPENA (51): M. Girard 1 0-0 2; E. Jore 2 0-0 6; B. Jones 1 9-12 11; K. Fischer 0 0-2 0; B. Nguyen 4 0-0 12; D. Prevo 6 2-6 14; K. Dunson 2 0-0 6.