Maryland Jewels put up a great fight in the 2nd half after scoring only 37 points in the first two quarters of the WABA Quarterfinals against the DC Cyclones. It was a quiet game from the stands as the Jewels slipped into a 20+ point deficit during the first half of the game. The energy was low, fans were silent, and the coaching staff was reasonably frustrated. After a series of missed shots, mostly in the paint, the DC Cyclones went on multiple runs and even their scoring seemed unstoppable.
DC Cyclones had already won 2-0 against us during the regular season, so we knew it would be a tough match-up coming into the playoffs. Jewels had a spark of motivation going into the 3rd quarter, which really helped increase their momentum and defensive intensity on the court. Now we’ve got a ball game! Hustle plays from players like Tejahne Malone (24), Daria Simmons (4), and Danielle Pray (3) really started to give us more scoring opportunities; while our leading scorers Saadia Doyle (00) and Taylor White (13) began to takeover in the paint. The overall team effort was completely different as we entered the final quarter… like night and day compared to the first half. Our co-captain, Allese Morrison (5), maintained her composure and took pride in encouraging her teammates during the entire game. Danielle Forrest had to fight through a lot of hits in the paint, but managed to hang in there until the end.
Uh-Oh! Maryland Jewels are in this game! Our Jewels narrowed the score down to a 1 point game with under 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, our foul trouble would be the Achilles heel of this game.
Most likely fatigued, the team had put DC into a double-bonus situation with 8 total fouls committed in the final quarter. Malone and Morrison both at their maximum allowed fouls, but still on the court risking a technical if called for another foul. We are undoubtedly stressed at this point of the game. Two steals, a missed 3-D scoring opportunity, and 2 back-to-back turnovers were our final strides to win. Morrison took a tough foul call with seconds left, giving the Cyclones a total of 4 free throws (2 for the foul + 2 for the technical) to close the game.
Thank you, Jewels Nation! We appreciate all of your support this season.