The Tompkins Cortland Community College women's basketball team picked a bad time for one of its worst offensive games of the season. Taking on #2-seed Jefferson Community College in the semifinal of the Mid-State Athletic Conference postseason tournament, the #3-seed Panthers shot just 24.6% from the floor and lost 81-51 to the Cannoneers. Jefferson advances to the MSAC championship game Sunday against Onondaga. Tompkins Cortland now looks ahead to the NJCAA Region III playoffs.
Neither team could find the scoring range early. After two and a half minutes of action, Taylor Day (Brooktondale/Ithaca H.S.) finally broke the ice to give the Panthers the 2-0 lead. After Jefferson answered, Reyanah Brown (Syracuse/Syracuse Academy of Science) scored to put the Panthers back in front, 4-2. The next seven points were scored by Jefferson to make it 9-4 in favor of the Cannoneers, but the Panthers responded with a 7-0 run of their own, regaining the lead at 12-11 on a three-pointer by Day with 2:15 left in the first quarter. The lead didn't last as Jefferson closed out the quarter scoring six of the final seven points to lead 17-13 at the break.
After the teams traded baskets to open the second, the Panthers went cold and Jefferson spread the lead. The Cannoneers used a 17-3 run to lead 36-18 midway through the quarter, but the Panthers weren't done. Fueled by three three-pointers from Macy Boice (Homer/Homer H.S.), Tompkins Cortland ended the half on a 12-6 run to cut Jefferson's lead to 42-30.
Coming out of the half, Jefferson came out on fire, hitting on three-pointers on their first three possessions. The Panthers again struggled to get going, and the deficit grew to 23 points midway through the quarter. Finally righting the ship, the Panthers chipped away the rest of the quarter, eventually making it a 14-point difference at the end of the third quarter.
Any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the fourth as the already cold offense went into a deep freeze. Tompkins Cortland managed just four points over the final ten minutes, and none over the final seven, as Jefferson pulled away to the 81-51 final.
Boice led the Panthers with 17 points, connecting on 4 three-pointers along the way. Day had 12 points and 6 rebounds and Brown had 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks.