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Cedar Valley Finishes Fourth in Nation

Cedar Valley Finishes Fourth in Nation

Dallas College Cedar Valley women's basketball team fell to Northland Community & Technical College, 79-64, Saturday in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III consolation final.

The Suns finished fourth in nation.

It was Cedar Valley's second trip to the national tournament. Both times, the Suns advanced to the semifinals before bowing out. Cedar Valley finished with a program-record 19 wins, winning 12 games in a row before dropping the last two at the national tournament.

Cedar Valley's Carmela Hayden had 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Deja Thomas finished with 16 points, five steals, three assists and a block. Mia Thomas had 10 points, three assists and three steals.

Northland's Emma Osborn had 22 points and two steals. Tiyana Schwinghammer had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The Suns (19-6) took a 19-17 lead after the first quarter. Taylor Elam and Keely Burks scored the first two baskets of the second quarter to give the Suns a six-point lead. After Northland's Hannah Halvorson and Elam traded buckets, the Pioneers (25-6) used a 10-0 run to take a 29-25 lead 4:16 before halftime. Deja Thomas and Mia Thomas both scored to keep the Suns within two. But the Pioneers closed the half with a 7-2 run to take a 38-31 lead into the break.

Northland outscored Cedar Valley, 13-2, hitting three straight three-pointers to open the second half, and take a 51-33 lead. The Pioneers outscored the Suns, 22-7, in the third quarter. Mia Thomas' 3 with 6:26 to go cut the gap to 15. Hayden drained a triple two possessions later as the Suns drew within 12. Deja Thomas scored on a layup at the 3:42 mark as Cedar Valley sliced Northland's lead to 70-59. Nekayla Williams jumper and a free throw by Hayden brought the Suns within 10 with 2:32 remaining. But that's as close as they got.

Cedar Valley shot 37.5 percent from the field, going 24 of 64. Northland shot 50.9 percent, going 28 of 55. The Suns outscored the Pioneers, 25-18, in points off turnovers. Northland outscored Cedar Valley, 32-22, in the paint.

Elam had eight points, four rebounds and two steals. Burks had seven points and two steals. Vivian Nwabufo grabbed seven boards.